Bangladesh Nationalist Party

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Bangladesh Nationalist Party
বাংলাদেশ জাতীয়তাবাদী দল
Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia
Founder Ziaur Rahman
Founded September 1978
Headquarters 28/1 Naya Paltan, Dhaka
Ideology Economic liberalism
Bengali nationalism
Political position Center-right
National affiliation 18 Party Alliance
International affiliation None
Colors Blue
Seats in the Jatiyo Sangshad
0 / 300
Election symbol
BNP party symbol
Politics of Bangladesh
Political parties

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ জাতীয়তাবাদী দল, transliterated: Bangladesh Jatiotabadi Dôl), often abbreviated as BNP, is the largest political parties of Bangladesh.

The BNP was founded as a centre-right liberal democratic party. It was established on September 1, 1978 during the regime of Ziaur Rahman. It has ruled Bangladesh for a total of 14 years and three terms since its birth (1978-1982, 1991-1996, 2001–2006). During the early 1990s, the BNP administration, with stalwarts such as Saifur Rahman, oversaw a landmark liberalization of the Bangladeshi economy, which set a precedent for economic reforms across South Asia. Since 2001, it has been part of the controversial Four Party Alliance with two hardline far-right Islamist parties, including the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (accused of participating in the 1971 Bangladesh genocide) and the Islami Oikya Jote. The coalition expanded to an 18-party alliance in 2012, with the addition of smaller right-wing parties.

The BNP has been led by Khaleda Zia since 1983, the widow of Ziaur Rahman. Her son Tarique Rahman emerged as an influential force within the party in 2001 and is currently serving as its Senior Vice-Chairperson. The student wing of the party is the Bangladesh Jatiotabadi Chatra Dal

Party ideology[edit]

The party has professed Bangladesh Nationalism, based on democratic rights, freedom of speech and free market. BNP promotes a center-right policy combining elements of moderate religious feeedom, social conservatism, economic liberalism and nationalism. Since its foundation, the BNP has been more popular among the country's business class, military and conservatives. The party believes that Islam is an integral part of the socio-cultural life of Bangladesh, and favors Islamic principles as well as cultural views. The party has a large following within the United Kingdom promoting their ideology.

2001–2006 period[edit]

BNP won the general election in 2001 with a two-thirds majority of seats in parliament, and 46% of the vote (compared to the principal opposition party's 40%), returning to power for a third term.

Caretaker government (2006–2008)[edit]

A caretaker government was established following the end of Khaleda Zia's term and resignation of her government. Protests and violence began immediately after Khaleda's resignation, resulting in 40 deaths and hundreds injured in the first month. Following the Awami League's last minute withdrawal from elections scheduled for 22 January 2007, a bloodless military coup established a new government on January 11. President Iajuddin Ahmed (in office since 2002) declared a state of emergency before resigning as Chief Advisor; Fakhruddin Ahmed, a prominent banker, was appointed as CA.

The military-backed government promised to tackle the longstanding problems of corruption, filing charges against more than 160 politicians, civil servants and businessmen in 2007. Among those charged were Khaleda Zia and her two sons, as well as Sheikh Hasina, leader of the Awami League.[1] Some party members chose former finance minister Saifur Rahman as chairman, and former water resources minister Hafizuddin Ahmed as secretary general to lead the party. Khaleda Zia's supporters refused to recognize these choices.

The Bangladesh Election Commission invited Hafizuddin's faction, rather than Khaleda Zia's, to participate in talks, effectively recognizing the former as the legitimate BNP. Khaleda Zia challenged this in court, but her appeal was rejected on 10 April 2008.[1] After her release later that year, Zia was restored to her position as party leader.[2] There is speculation that the military government was trying to force both major leaders into exile in order to change the political system.

In the 2008 Bangladesh general election, the 4-party alliance led by BNP won 32 seats out of 299 constituencies, of which the BNP alone got 29.[3] The Awami League and its Grand Alliance had a two-thirds majority and formed a government.

5th National Council[edit]

After sanctions by the Election Commission, the party held country-wide events in order for local leaders to play an active role in the national party.[4] The BNP National Council empowered re-elected party chairperson Khaleda Zia to pick other members for the National Executive Committee and Standing Committee.[5] It elected her eldest son, Tarique Rahman, to the powerful post as Senior Vice-Chairman, in a "move apparently designed to smooth his path to the party helm."[5]

Current leadership[edit]

  • Chairperson: Khaleda Zia
  • Senior Vice Chairperson: Tareque Rahman
  • (Acting) Secretary General: Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir[6]
  • List of all Standing Committee (Last Updated: July 20, 2010) [1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bangladesh court rejects Zia appeal". Al Jazeera. April 10, 2008. 
  2. ^ "BNP top brass hails decision on Tarique". Daily Star. September 14, 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Bangladesh Election Won by Ex-Prime Minister Hasina". Bloomberg. December 29, 2008. [not in citation given] the results given in the source are preliminary and not final
  4. ^ Changes to Come Through the Council, The Daily News Today, Dhaka, 27 November 2009
  5. ^ a b "Tarique made powerful senior vice-chairman", The Daily Star
  6. ^ Suman, Rakib (31 March 2011). "Mirza acting, debate spreading within BNP". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 

External links[edit]