Sunday, October 20, 2019

No Awami League allies in new cabinet

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-01-06 19:28:32 BdST


Sheikh Hasina, who has always included representatives from the Awami League’s allied parties in her administration, has not picked any of them as her new cabinet colleagues.

The Awami League won a landslide victory in the 11th national parliamentary election and is going to form the government for a third consecutive term. It is Hasina’s fourth term as prime minister.

The Awami League formed their first government under the leadership of Hasina in 1996. Hasina included the Jatiya Party’s Anwar Hossain Manju and JaSaD’s ASM Abdur Rab in her cabinet at the time.

Then, in 2008, Hasina’s cabinet included the Jatiya Party leaders such as GM Quader and the Samyabadi Dal’s Dilip Barua.

JaSoD President Hasanul Haq Inu was added in 2012 while Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon and Jatiya Party leaders before the 2014 elections.

This is the first time Hasina has formed a cabinet exclusively with the members of her own party.

Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam announced a 47-member cabinet on Sunday.

Ministers have changed at 18 ministries. The departures include Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon and Water Resources Minister Jatiya Party’s Anwar Hossain Manju.

Jatiya Party members such as Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, State Minister for Local Government Mashiur Rahman Ranga and State Minister for Labour Mujibul Haque Chunnu have also been left out.

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad had said last Thursday that none of the party’s members of parliament would be on the cabinet and would instead form the main opposition.

This explains the departure of the Jatiya Party members, but the absence of Inu, Menon and Manju from the cabinet comes as a surprise, as does the slate of new faces.

Awami League Publicity Secretary Hasan Mahmud is the new information minister. He was the environment and forest minister in 2009.

Awami League leader Nuruzzaman Ahmed had been the state minister for social welfare, but has now been promoted to the position of minister, taking over from Rashed Khan Menon.

Moulvibazar Awami League leader Shahab Uddin is taking over from Anwar Hossain Manju as the water resources minister.