Politics of Bangladesh
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Politics and government of
Politics of Bangladesh takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Bangladesh is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The Constitution of Bangladesh was written in 1972 and has undergone fifteen amendments.
Executive branch 
|President||Abdul Hamid||Awami League||24 March 2013|
|Prime Minister||Sheikh Hasina||Awami League||6 January 2009|
The President is the head of state, a largely ceremonial post. The real power is held by the Prime Minister, who is the head of government. The president is elected by the legislature every five years and has normally limited powers that are substantially expanded during the tenure of a caretaker government, mainly in controlling the transition to a new government. Bangladesh has instituted a unique system of transfer of power; at the end of the tenure of the government, power is handed over to members of a civil society for three months, who run the general elections and transfer the power to elected representatives. This system was first practiced in 1991 and adopted to the constitution in 1996.
The prime minister is ceremonially appointed by the president, commanding the confidence of the majority of the MPs. The cabinet is composed of ministers selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president.
Legislative branch 
"On 16 May 2004, the Jatiyo Sangshad (the National Parliament) passed the 14th constitutional amendment to reintroduce quotas for women (article 65). The number of seats in parliament is to be raised to 345, 45 (15%) of which will be reserved for women in the next parliament. The seats will be allocated to parties in proportion to their overall share of the vote. This quota system replaces the previous quota law which expired in 2001. Until 2001 a system of reserved seats for women was used, where 30 seats out of 330 were reserved to women (chosen by indirect election by the 300 directly elected MPs). This provision of guaranteeing women reserved seats expired in April 2001. This quota system was first introduced by the 1972 Constitution (originally providing for 15 reserved seats for women, out of 315 seats, for a period of 10 years). In 1978 a presidential proclamation enlarged the number of reserved seats to 30 and extended the period of reservation to 15 years from the date of promulgation of the constitution of the Republic in December 1972. The constitutional provision lapsed in 1987 and was re-incorporated in the constitution by an amendment in 1990 to be effective for 10 years from the first meeting of the legislature next elected. This provision also lapsed in 2001. The Parliament elected in October 2001 does not have reserved seats for women. Women's groups are lobbying for these seats to become directly electe]d positions and for the number of reserved seats to be increased." The 9th Parliament had its first sitting on January 25, 2009.
Political parties and elections 
The three major parties in Bangladesh are the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Bangladesh Awami League and Jatiya Party. BNP finds its allies among some Islamist parties like Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh while the Awami League aligns itself traditionally with leftist and secularist parties. Another important player is the Jatiya Party, headed by former military ruler Hossain Mohammad Ershad. The Awami League-BNP rivalry has been bitter and punctuated by protests, violence and murder. Student politics is particularly strong in Bangladesh, a legacy from the liberation movement era. Almost all parties have highly active student wings, and students have been elected to the Parliament.
Three radical Islamist parties, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) and Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkatul Jihad were banned in February 2005 on grounds of militancy and terrorism. Following the first series of bans, a series of bomb attacks took place in the country. The evidence of staging these attacks by these extremist groups have been found in the investigation, and hundreds of suspected members have been detained in numerous security operations, including the head the of those two parties in 2006. The first recorded case of a suicide bomb attack in Bangladesh took place in November 2005..
Extremist groups Shahadat-e-al-Hikma Bangladesh and Hizb-ut-Tahrir Bangladesh were banned on 22 October 2009 by the government, as the group was trying to destabilize the country by stoking the army after the 2009 BDR mutiny.
General Election, 1970 
National Council Election, 1970 
The election was held on 7 December 1970. The total number of voters were 29,479,386. The number of casting votes was 17,005,163 (57.68%), the valid casting votes was 1,64,54,278.
|Serial||Political Party||Total Candidates||Seats||Votes||Percentage||Symbol|
|5||Pakistan Muslim League (Convention)||93||0||4,64,185||2.8%|
|6||Pakistan Muslim League (Kou)||50||0||2,74,453||1.6%|
|7||Pakistan Muslim League (Kayum)||65||0||1,75,822||1%|
|8||National Awami Party (Wali)||39||0||3,10,986||1.8%|
Provincial Council Election, 1970 
The election was held on 17 December 1970. The percentage of casting votes was (57.69%), and the number of reserved women seat was 10.
|Serial||Political Party||Total Candidates||Seats||Votes||Percentage||Symbol|
|5||Pakistan Muslim League (Convention)||0||1%|
|6||Pakistan Muslim League (Kou)||0||0.05%|
|7||Pakistan Muslim League (Kayum)||0||0.05%|
|8||National Awami Party (Wali)||1||0.9%|
First General Election, 1973 
The election was held on 7 March 1973. Total number of voter=3,52,05,642; Cast votes=1,93,29,683 (54.9%); Valid casting votes=1,88,51,808 (53.54%); Reserved Women Seats=15.
|2||Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal||237||1||12,29,110||6.52%||Torch|
|3||National Awami Party (Mozaffar)||224||0||15,69,299||8.33%||Hut|
|4||National Awami Party (Bhasani)||169||0||10,02,771||3%||Sheaf of Paddy|
|5||Communist Party of Bangladesh||4||0||47,211||0.25%||Key|
|6||Communist Party of Bangladesh (L)||2||0||18,619||0.1%||Bullock Cart|
|7||Bangladesh Jatiyo League||8||1||62,354||0.33%||Plough|
|8||Banglar Communist Party||3||0||11,911||0.06%||Axe|
Second General Election, 1979 
|1||Bangladesh Nationalist Party||298||207||79,34,236||41.16%||Sheaf of Paddy|
|4||Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal||240||8||9,31,851||4.84%||Torch|
|5||Muslim Democratic League||266||20||19,41,394||10.08%||Lantern (Hurricane)|
|6||National Awami Party (Mo)||89||1||4,32,514||2.25%||Hut|
|7||National Awami Party (Naser)||28||0||25,336||0.14%||Rose|
|8||National Awami Party (Nuru Jahid)||38||0||88,385||0.46%||Lamp|
|9||Communist Party of Bangladesh||11||0||75,455||0.39%||Key|
|10||United Peoples Party||70||0||1,70,955||0.89%||Bullock Cart|
|11||Bangladesh Jatiyo League||14||2||69,319||0.36%||Plough|
|12||Bangladesh Gono Front||46||2||1,15,622||0.60||Bicycle|
|13||Jatioybadi Gonotantrik Dal||29||0||27,259||0.14||Fish|
|14||Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal||2||0||4,954||0.02||Umbrella|
|15||Bangladesh Samyabadi Dal||20||1||74,771||0.39|
|16||Bangladesh Gonotantrik Andolon||16||0||7,738||0.04||Chair|
|17||Bangladesh Labour Party||18||1||34,259||0.17||Clock|
|18||Jatioy Janata Party||9||0||10,932||0.06||Mango|
|19||Bangladesh Jatioy Dal(Huda)||6||0||0||Date Tree|
|20||Bangladesh Gonotantrik Dal||5||0||3,564||0.01|
|21||Jatiyo Ekata Party||3||1||44,459||0.23||Inkpot|
|22||Peoples Democratic Party||3||0||5,703||0.02||Horse|
|23||Bangladesh Janat Mukti Party||3||0||3,363||0.01||Spade|
|24||Jatiotabadi Gonotantrik Chashi Dal||2||0||130||0.01||Elephant|
|25||United Republican Party||2||0||389||0.01||Pineaple|
|26||Bangladesh Gono Ajadi League||1||0||1,378||0.01||Aeroplane|
|27||Bangladesh Nejame Islami||1||0||1,575||0.01||Candle|
|28||Bangladesh Tati Samity||1||0||1,8340||0.01||Pitcher|
|29||National Republican Party||1||0||14,429||0.07||Cow|
Third General Election, 1986 
The election was held on 7 May 1986. Total number of voter=4,78,76,979; Cast votes=2,89,03,889 (60.31%); Valid casting votes=-----; Reserved Women Seats=30.
|2||Bangladesh Awami League||256||76||74,62,157||26.15%||Boat|
|3||Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh||76||10||13,14,057||4.60%||Balance Scale|
|4||Communist Party of Bangladesh||9||5||2,59,728||0.91%|
|5||National Awami Party (Mozaffar)||10||2||3,68,979||1.29%|
|6||National Awami Party||5||3,68,979||1.29%|
|7||Bangladesh Krishok Shromik Awami League||6||3||1,91,107||0.67%|
|8||Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal (Rob)||4||7,25,303||2.54%|
|9||Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal (Siraj)||14||3||2,48,705||2.54%|
|11||Bangladesh Workers Party||3||1,51,828||0.53%|
Fourth General Election, 1988 
The election was held on 3 March 1988. Total number of voter=4,98,63,829; Cast votes=2,88,73,540 (54.93%); Valid casting votes=2,85,26,650; Reserved Women Seats=30.
|2||Combined Opposition Party||269||19||32,63,340||12.63%|
|3||Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal (Siraj)||25||3||3,09,666||1.20%|
Fifth General Election, 1991 
The election was held on 13 January 1991. Total number of voter=6,20,81,793; Cast votes=3,44,77,803 (55.45%); Valid casting votes=3,41,03,777; Reserved Women Seats=30.
|1||Bangladesh Nationalist Party||300||140||1,05,07,549||30.81%||Sheaf of Paddy|
|2||Bangladesh Awami League||264||88||1,02,59,866||30.08%||Boat|
|3||Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami||222||18||41,17,737||12.2%||Balance Scale|
|5||Jaker Party (JDP)||251||0||4,17,737||1.22%||Rose|
Sixth General Election, 1996 
Following boycotts by the main opposition party Bangladesh Awami League, BNP won the uncontested elections. However, amidst protests, they were made to cave into Awami League's original demands, dissolve the parliament, and hold elections under a neutral caretaker government after the enactment of the 13th amendment.
Seventh General Election, 1996 
Bangladesh Awami League won the general elections for the first time since 1973 by forming a coalition government, since they fell 5 seats short of a majority.
Eighth General Election, 2001 
BNP won two-third majority in the parliament and won the elections.
Brief History of Caretaker Government of Bangladesh 
A caretaker government was first introduced in 1990 when three party alliances jointly made a demand for it. After the forced resignation of General Ershad, the three alliances nominated Chief Justice Shahbuddin Ahmed as the Chief Advisor. A Caretaker government is headed by a Chief Adviser who enjoys the same power as the regular prime minister of the country except defense matters. The Advisors function as Ministers. Since 1996, the Caretaker government has held the elections of 1996, 2001 and 2008. Although the first caretaker government was intended to help the transition from authoritarianism to democracy, this system was constitutionalized in 1996 by the Sixth Parliament dominated by Bangladesh Nationalist Party, yielding to boycotting opposition pressure.
In Bangladesh, there was a Caretaker Government (CTG) for the period of 1990-91 with understanding of political parties. Later, there were also CTG formed within constitutional framework in 1996, 2001 and 2006 followed by 13th amendment to the constitution passed in the parliament. Besides, an extra-constitutional military-backed CTG was installed in 2007 which governed Bangladesh without legitimacy that ultimately handed over to elected political party following 29 December 2008 parliamentary election when they were failed to continue as pressurred by international world. According to the provision (before abolishment)of CTG in the Bangladesh Constitution, there were 6 options to appoint Chief Advisor (CA). Last option of CA is the President. CTG had to hold election within 90 days and in 120 days power could be handed over to elected political party. Day to day affair or routine duty and holding parliamentary election are mandated responsibility of CTG. The military backed CTG was formed without constitutional provision, CA was appointed violating provision of constitution, performed all responsibilities of regular elected government and lasted for 2 years. Army chief used to attend the advisory council meetings and pressured cabinet to take decision as he wanted. Advisor to the President Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury was ousted as he was against army move and President Iajuddin Ahmed had to run presidency at the gun point. Lt. Gen. Moeen upgraded army chief's rank to General and to maintain balance also other two forces chiefs accordingly. Moeen also made his one-year extension without lawful authority in absence of regular elected government. Senior Advisor and Minister of State Mukhles Chowdhury tried utmost, solved political problem and thereby brought rival political parties to the planned parliamentary elections of 22 January 2002. However, by cancelling H M Ershad's nomination Moeen staged a military coup on 11 January 2007.
Ninth General Election, 2008 
Bangladesh Awami League won two-third majority in the parliament and won the elections.
Judicial branch 
The highest judiciary body is the Supreme Court. Until recently, Chief Justice and judges were recommended by the Prime Minister and formally appointed by the President. Since 1991 political parties during their tenure in government have initiated the separation of the judiciary.(from what?) The separation by presidential promulgation acts have signed and passed. Acts on the separation of Judiciary Administration, Remuneration, Pay and Leave, etc. have all been completed. The Supreme Court have now judiciary and administrative authority over all lower courts.
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (January 2013)|
Provisional Government 
Bangladesh's first government took oath of office in Meherpur, Kushtia on April 10, 1971, after Major Ziaur Rahman initiated the first revolt with his battalion against a brutal five division army crackdown on the local people of Bangladesh, and declared independence on March 26, 1971, in Chittagong. The provisional government of the new nation of Bangladesh was formed in Dhaka with President of the Republic, Justice Abu Sayeed Choudhury, and Tajuddin Ahmed as Prime Minister, and General M.A.G Osmani as Commander in Chief of Bangladesh Forces. As this government was formed during the war of independence from Pakistan, its significance holds a distinction. Its temporary headquarters were soon set up at 8 Theatre Road in Calcutta, India, with a cabinet. The Bangladesh Forces was set up and organised under 11 Sectors to conduct all operations pretaining towards independence from Pakistan under the leadership of the Sector and Brigade commanders.
1972-1975: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 
On January 10, 1972, Mujib was brought from India and was placed at the helm of government, still according to the election victory under the unified Pakistan government. In 1973 after the first Bangladesh elections, he continued his term in office with immense backing from India, and public popularity, but had great difficulty transforming this popular support into the political strength needed to function as head of government. The new constitution, which came into force in December 1972, created a strong executive prime minister, a largely ceremonial presidency, an independent judiciary, and a unicameral legislature on a modified Westminster model. The 1972 constitution adopted as state policy the Awami League's (AL) four basic principles of nationalism, secularism, socialism, and democracy.
The first parliamentary elections held under the 1972 constitution were in March 1973, with the Awami League winning a massive majority. No other political party in Bangladesh's early years was able to duplicate or challenge the League's broad-based appeal, membership, or organizational strength. Mujib and his cabinet having no experience in governance nor administration, relied heavily on experienced civil servants and political factions of the Awami League, the new Bangladesh Government focused on relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of the economy and society. Mujib nationalised the entire economy, banking and industrial sector. Economic conditions took a serious downturn. On top of that heavy corruption among his own party members, factions and senior leadership also added to the devastation and famine. The then U.S. Secretary of State termed Bangladesh a Bottomless Basket. In December 1974, Mujib decided that continuing economic deterioration and mounting civil disorder required strong measures. After proclaiming a state of emergency, Mujib used his parliamentary majority to win a constitutional amendment limiting the powers of the legislative and judicial branches, establishing an executive presidency, and instituting a one-party system, the Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL), which all members of Parliament were obliged to join.
Despite promises, no sign of improvement in the economic situation surfaced. Implementation of promised political reforms was almost nil, and criticism of government policies became increasingly centered on Mujib. Serious disorientation in the armed services, disenchantment in society, detoriaration of law and order created a huge mistrust of Mujib and his government including the Awami League itself. The then chief of army staff K M Shafiullah and chief of air staff A.K. Khandker stood stunned and idle during this situation. In August 1975, Mujib, and most of his family, were assassinated by a small group of mid-level army officers. Mujib's daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, happened to be out of the country. A new government, headed by former Mujib associate Khandakar Moshtaque, was formed.
1975 August-1975 November 
Mujib's senior cabinet minister Khondakar Mushtaq Ahmad formed a new government and immediately initiated a few critical changes in Mujib's policies and rules of business in government. However, within three months the first military coup took place in Bangladesh by senior members of the army, removing Mushtaq and replacing his administration. Armed forces personnel along with internal political and government forces fell into a chaotic dispute, resulting in a vacuum at the highest level of government.
1975-1981: Ziaur Rahman 
Following Mushtaq's removal, jail killings of arrested members Mushtaq's cabinet, and assassination of Brigadier General Khaled Musharaf by a segment of army personnel, a very short lived revolution resulted in the emergence of arrested deputy Army Chief of Staff Major General Ziaur Rahman ("Zia"), who managed to take the lead and bring the whole nation out of a political quagmire. His first action was to communicate to the people through radio and television and bring order and calm to the nation. He pledged full support to the civilian government headed by President Chief Justice Sayem. Acting at Zia's behest, Sayem dissolved Parliament, and instituted state of emergency under martial law. Fresh elections were to be in 1977 under a multi party democracy with full freedom of the press.
Acting behind the scenes of the Martial Law Administration (MLA), Zia sought to invigorate government policy and administration. Lifting the ban on political parties from Mujib's one party BAKSAL rule, he sought to revitalize the demoralized bureaucracy, to begin new economic development programs, infrastructure buildup, a free press and to emphasize family planning. In November 1976, Zia became Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) and assumed the presidency upon Sayem's retirement 5 months later, held national elections in 1978.
As President, Zia announced a 19-point program of economic reform and began dismantling the MLA. Keeping his promise to hold elections, Zia won a 5-year term in June 1978 elections, with 76% of the vote. In November 1978, his government removed the remaining restrictions on political party activities in time for parliamentary elections in February 1979. These elections, which were contested by more than 30 parties, marked the culmination of Zia's transformation of Bangladesh's Government from the MLA to a democratically elected, constitutional one. The AL and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), founded by Zia, emerged as the two major parties. The constitution was again amended to provide for an executive prime minister appointed by the president, and responsible to a parliamentary majority. Zia invigiorated a strong foreign policy based on sovereignty and economic independence. He initiated many social programs to uplift the poor through honest hard work and education. His greatest legacy on the people of Bangladesh was unity and self-dependence.
In May 1981, Zia was assassinated in Chittagong by dissident elements of the military. There was no coup or uprising attempted, and the major conspirators were never taken into custody or killed. In accordance with the constitution, Vice President Justice Abdus Sattar was sworn in as acting president. He immeditaely set out to continue Zia's policies and called for fresh elections. Due to President Zia's tremendous popularity Satter won as the BNP's candidate. President Sattar sought to follow the policies of his predecessor and retained essentially the same cabinet.
1982-1990: Hussain Mohammed Ershad 
Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Hussain Mohammed Ershad assumed power in the second, but, bloodless coup in March 24, 1982. To strengthen his hold on government Ershad suspended the constitution and—citing pervasive corruption, ineffectual government, and economic mismanagement—declared martial law. The following year, Ershad assumed the presidency, retaining his positions as army chief and CMLA, first time in Bangladesh. During most of 1984, Ershad sought the opposition parties' participation in local elections under martial law. The opposition's refusal to participate, however, forced Ershad to abandon these plans. Ershad sought public support for his regime in a national referendum on his leadership in March 1985. He won overwhelmingly, although turnout was small. Two months later, Ershad held elections for local council chairmen. Pro-government candidates won a majority of the posts, setting in motion the President's ambitious decentralization program. Political life was further liberalized in early 1986, and additional political rights, including the right to hold large public rallies, were restored. At the same time, the Jatiya (People's) Party, designed as Ershad's political vehicle for the transition from martial law, was established.
Despite a boycott by the BNP, led by President Zia's widow, Begum Khaleda Zia, parliamentary elections were held on schedule in May 1986. The Jatiya Party won a modest majority of the 300 elected seats in the national assembly. The participation of the Awami League—led by the late Prime Minister Mujib's daughter, Sheikh Hasina Wazed—lent the elections some credibility, despite widespread charges of voting irregularities.
Ershad resigned as Army Chief of Staff and retired from military service in preparation for the presidential elections, scheduled for October. Protesting that martial law was still in effect, both the BNP and the AL refused to put up opposing candidates. Ershad easily outdistanced the remaining candidates, taking 84% of the vote. Although Ershad's government claimed a turnout of more than 50%, opposition leaders, and much of the foreign press, estimated a far lower percentage and alleged voting irregularities.
Ershad continued his stated commitment to lift martial law. In November 1986, his government mustered the necessary two-thirds majority in the national assembly to amend the constitution and confirm the previous actions of the martial law regime. The President then lifted martial law, and the opposition parties took their elected seats in the national assembly.
In July 1987, however, after the government hastily pushed through a controversial legislative bill to include military representation on local administrative councils, the opposition walked out of Parliament. Passage of the bill helped spark an opposition movement that quickly gathered momentum, uniting Bangladesh's opposition parties for the first time. The government began to arrest scores of opposition activists under the country's Special Powers Act of 1974. Despite these arrests, opposition parties continued to organize protest marches and nationwide strikes. After declaring a state of emergency, Ershad dissolved Parliament and scheduled fresh elections for March 1988.
All major opposition parties refused government overtures to participate in these polls, maintaining that the government was incapable of holding free and fair elections. Despite the opposition boycott, the government proceeded. The ruling Jatiya Party won 251 of the 300 seats. The Parliament, while still regarded by the opposition as an illegitimate body, held its sessions as scheduled, and passed a large number of bills, including, in June 1988, a controversial constitutional amendment making Islam Bangladesh's state religion.
By 1989, the domestic political situation in the country seemed to have quieted. The local council elections were generally considered by international observers to have been less violent and more free and fair than previous elections. However, opposition to Ershad's rule began to regain momentum, escalating by the end of 1990 in frequent general strikes, increased campus protests, public rallies, and a general disintegration of law and order.
On December 6, 1990, Ershad offered his resignation. On February 27, 1991, after 2 months of widespread civil unrest, an interim government oversaw what most observers believed to be the nation's most free and fair elections to date.
Hasina-Khaleda rivalry 
1991-1996: Khaleda Zia 
The center-right BNP won a plurality of seats and formed a coalition government with the Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, with Khaleda Zia, widow of Ziaur Rahman, obtaining the post of Prime Minister. Only four parties had more than 10 members elected to the 1991 Parliament: The BNP, led by Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia; the AL, led by Sheikh Hasina; the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), led by Golam Azam; and the Jatiya Party (JP), led by acting chairman Mizanur Rahman Choudhury while its founder, former President Ershad, served out a prison sentence on corruption charges. The electorate approved still more changes to the constitution, formally re-creating a parliamentary system and returning governing power to the office of the prime minister, as in Bangladesh's original 1972 constitution. In October 1991, members of Parliament elected a new head of state, President Abdur Rahman Biswas.
In March 1994, controversy over a parliamentary by-election, which the opposition claimed the government had rigged, led to an indefinite boycott of Parliament by the entire opposition. The opposition also began a program of repeated general strikes to press its demand that Khaleda Zia's government resign and a caretaker government supervise a general election. Efforts to mediate the dispute, under the auspices of the Commonwealth Secretariat, failed. After another attempt at a negotiated settlement failed narrowly in late December 1994, the opposition resigned en masse from Parliament. The opposition then continued a campaign of Marches, demonstrations, and strikes in an effort to force the government to resign. The opposition, including the Awami League's Sheikh Hasina, pledged to boycott national elections scheduled for February 15, 1996.
In February, Khaleda Zia was re-elected for the second term by a landslide in voting boycotted and denounced as unfair by the three main opposition parties. In March 1996, following escalating political turmoil, the sitting Parliament enacted a constitutional amendment to allow a neutral caretaker government to assume power conduct new parliamentary elections; former Chief Justice Mohammed Habibur Rahman was named Chief Advisor (a position equivalent to prime minister) in the interim government. New parliamentary elections were held in June 1996 and were won by the Awami League; party leader Sheikh Hasina became Prime Minister.
1996-2001: Sheikh Hasina 
Sheikh Hasina formed what she called a "Government of National Consensus" in June 1996, which included one minister from the Jatiya Party and another from the Jatiyo Samajtantric Dal, a very small leftist party. The Jatiya Party never entered into a formal coalition arrangement, and party president H.M. Ershad withdrew his support from the government in September 1997. Only three parties had more than 10 members elected to the 1996 Parliament: The Awami League, BNP, and Jatiya Party. Jatiya Party president, Ershad, was released from prison on bail in January 1997.
Although international and domestic election observers found the June 1996 election free and fair, the BNP protested alleged vote rigging by the Awami League. Ultimately, however, the BNP party decided to join the new Parliament. The BNP soon charged that police and Awami League activists were engaged in large-scale harassment and jailing of opposition activists. At the end of 1996, the BNP staged a parliamentary walkout over this and other grievances but returned in January 1997 under a four-point agreement with the ruling party. The BNP asserted that this agreement was never implemented and later staged another walkout in August 1997. The BNP returned to Parliament under another agreement in March 1998.
In June 1999, the BNP and other opposition parties again began to abstain from attending Parliament. Opposition parties have staged an increasing number of nationwide general strikes, rising from 6 days of general strikes in 1997 to 27 days in 1999. A four-party opposition alliance formed at the beginning of 1999 announced that it would boycott parliamentary by-elections and local government elections unless the government took steps demanded by the opposition to ensure electoral fairness. The government did not take these steps, and the opposition has subsequently boycotted all elections, including municipal council elections in February 1999, several parliamentary by-elections, and the Chittagong city corporation elections in January 2000. The opposition demands that the Awami League government step down immediately to make way for a caretaker government to preside over paliamentary and local government.
2001-2006: Khaleda Zia 
A Khaleda-led four-party alliance won two-thirds of total parliamentary seats, while BAL won only 62 seats that represent the smallest opposition after 1991. Khaleda Zia won a second term in 2001. Her coalition included several Islamist parties, a fact which was criticized by those who feared post-9/11 Islamic radicalism and de-secularization in Bangladesh. Islamist violence targeting courts and imposing social strictures became a serious problem as Zia's term wore on. It came to a head in 2005 with the first suicide bombing and a coordinated bombing. This problem abated as two parties were outlawed and the leaders of the movement were rounded up.
2006-2008: caretaker government 
An election was scheduled for the end of 2006, however it did not take place. The caretaker government was accused of BNP bias by Hasina and her coalition, who fomented nationwide protests and shutdowns. In January 2007, the head of the caretaker government stepped down, many believe under pressure from the military.
Fakhruddin Ahmed, former World Bank economist, was selected to replace him and has committed himself to rooting out corruption and preparing a better voter list. Emergency law was declared and a massive campaign to crack down on corruption is underway. By July 2007 some 200,000 people had been arrested. The government says it will hold elections before the end of 2008.
In April, Ahmed's administration attempted to reform the political parties by exiling Hasina and Zia, but they backed down amid domestic and international protestations. Hasina, who had been visiting her children in the US, was allowed to return but she faced serious charges, including involvement in the assassination of four political rivals. In July, she was taken into custody after two businessmen testified that she had extorted ৳80 million (US$1.16 million) from them. This provoked angry protests from her supporters; even her bitter rival Khaleda Zia, as well as six British MPs and MEPs, called for her release. Khaleda herself faces charges of tax evasion.
2009-Present: Sheikh Hasina 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power through allegedly fixed ballots in the election held on December 29, 2008, and the army installed caretaker government ended its authority on December 31. Awami League President Sheikh Hasina becomes the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for the second time. Her cabinet took oath of office on January 6, 2009. Within weeks after coming to power an unprecedented incident occurred when a very close member of her cabinet, Tanjim Ahmed, son of late Zohra and Late Tajuddin Ahmed(1st PM of Bangladesh) resigned from the cabinet citing loss of faith and consent due to the corrupt attitude of the party.
On 25 February 2009, many identified Maoist terrorists disguised as border guards in the Bangladesh Rifles carried out a coup d'état inside the BD Rifles HQ, killing more than 50 high-ranking military officers of BDR Command structure, testing the hold of the new government. The total inaction of the sitting Army COS General Mueen U. Ahmed under the orders of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proved a vast conspiracy. The political situation of the nation remained resilient. The mistrust towards Hasina's AL government began to unfold. Misuse of the courts started unabated. Killings, enforced disappearances, torture, cancelling of local elections and disrupting political meetings and rallies of the opposition political parties regained strength rapidly and increased unchecked. Disappearances and torture of journalists and suppressing the media took shape full circle. The World Bank withdrew an approved fund worth $3 Billion for the construction of the long awaited Padma Multipurpose Bridge due to Hasina's and her party's corruption. The AL government did not hide its disdain and loathe towards Bangladesh's one and only Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit came as a warning to the AL government and its policies. The European Union, the government of Japan also issued their condemnations and warnings of non co-operation and stopping all development aid. The political situation has destabilized since the BDR massacres.
Administrative divisions 
At the local government level, the country is divided into divisions, districts, subdistricts (Upazila), unions, and villages. The lowest level of local government representative are Local officials of union council those who are elected at the union level election. All larger administrative units are run by members of the civil service.
International organization participation 
AsDB, Commonwealth of Nations, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, ICDDRB, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
- "Nasim swipes at Khaleda". bdnews24.com. July 18, 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- 14th Amendment, Constitution of Bangladesh, 1996.
- "Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB)". South Asia Terrorism Portal. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- Bangladesher Nirbachan 1970-2001 by A S M Samsul Arefin, Bangladesh Research and Publications, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2003, page-23
- Bangladesher Nirbachan 1970-2001 by A S M Samsul Arefin, Bangladesh Research and Publications, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2003, page-25
- Bangladesher Nirbachan 1970-2001 by A S M Samsul Arefin, Bangladesh Research and Publications, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2003, page-27
- Bangladesher Nirbachan 1970-2001 by A S M Samsul Arefin, Bangladesh Research and Publications, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2003, page-30
- Bangladesher Nirbachan 1970-2001 by A S M Samsul Arefin, Bangladesh Research and Publications, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2003, page-33
- Bangladesher Nirbachan 1970-2001 by A S M Samsul Arefin, Bangladesh Research and Publications, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2003, page-36
- Bangladesher Nirbachan 1970-2001 by A S M Samsul Arefin, Bangladesh Research and Publications, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2003, page-40
- Former Bangladesh PM arrested in corruption crackdown, The Guardian, July 16, 2007
- UK MPs denounce Bangladesh arrest, BBC News, 23 July 2007
- Wax, Emily (27 February 2009). "Bangladeshi Border Guards End Mutiny". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- Wax, Emily (27 February 2009). "Bangladeshi Border Guards End Mutiny". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- http://bdnews24.com/details.php?cid=2&id=224296&hb=2. Missing or empty
- Global Integrity Report: Bangladesh has details of anti-corruption efforts.