Hiren Pandit: Sheikh Hasina has taken oath as the Prime Minister of the new government of Bangladesh, under whose leadership the Awami League has taken the responsibility of running the state for the fifth time. The swearing-in ceremony of the new members of the cabinet began at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban on 11 January 2024. According to the rules, Sheikh Hasina took an oath from Sahabuddin as the head of the government. The President congratulated the Prime Minister after taking oath.:The slogan of Awami League’s 2008 manifesto was ‘Charter for Change’, 2014 ‘Bangladesh is moving forward’, and 2018 manifesto was ‘Bangladesh on Prosperity and Progress’. It contained 21 special pledges. Bangladesh Awami League has announced the manifesto ahead of the 12th national parliament election. The slogan of this year’s manifesto is ‘Smart Bangladesh: Where Development Shines, Accelerating Employment’. The ruling party has prioritized 11 issues by promising to build a smart Bangladesh. Creation of employment, keeping the price of goods within the purchasing power, establishing consistency between incomes, keeping the youth and youth society involved in the transformation and development of the country, taking measures against capital smugglers, eliminating bribery and corruption, bringing debt-tax-evasion and confiscating the illegal assets of the corrupt.
Regarding the transition from digital to smart Bangladesh in the manifesto mentioned that technological capability is necessary to survive in the world competition in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. For this reason, it is announced to build ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by combining the four pillars of ‘Smart Citizen’, ‘Smart Government’, ‘Smart Economy’ and ‘Smart Society’. Implementation of Smart Bangladesh mentions work in each area. It has been promised to make Bangladesh a hunger-poverty-free Smart Sonar Bangla by 2041 if elected by the people.
The 11 issues that the Awami League has given special priority in the manifesto are to make every effort to keep the price of essential commodities affordable for everyone; Ensure vocational education and youth employment; Build smart Bangladesh based on modern technology; Increase investment in integrated farming systems, mechanization and processing for profitable agriculture; Expanding industries by leveraging visible infrastructure and increasing investment; Increasing efficiency and capacity in the financial sector including banking.
Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina started working as a pioneer for the overall welfare, development and liberation of the people of Bangladesh. She has proved that she has no choice but to institutionalize and develop democracy in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina’s integrity, devotion, logical mindset, strong morale, wisdom, and extraordinary leadership have established Bangladesh at a different height in the world. She is now known as a world-renowned leader.
Bangladesh Awami League has been and continues to play a politically vocal, protective role against all forms of exploitation, deprivation, injustice, and oppression. Since its foundation, the Awami League has been working for the economic, social, political, and cultural liberation of the people. When the party is in power, people’s fortunes improve. The history of 74 years since the founding of this party bears witness to this fact. The Awami League has been in power for 15 years under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the brave daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, and she continues to work dedicatedly for the welfare of the people.
The world is amazed by Sheikh Hasina’s indomitable strength, courage, morale and strong leadership. Bangladesh will become the 29th largest economy in the world by 2030 and the 20th largest by 2040. Meanwhile, Bangladesh was declared a ‘middle-income country’ in 2026 and will debut as a ‘developed country’ in 2041. The big proof that Bangladesh is moving forward is that the per capita income of the people of the country has increased in the last few years. Currently, the per capita income is 2 thousand 795 US dollars.
Bangladesh is one of the top local countries in the world today in terms of economic progress. Sheikh Hasina is Prime Minister for the fifth time. Sheikh Hasina is a world leader who ignores all bloodshot eyes. The shape of a new Bangladesh. The charismatic leader brought a huge victory to the Awami League in the 12th national parliamentary elections. She has set another record by becoming the Prime Minister of the country for the fifth time.
Sheikh Hasina, who always puts the interests of the country and the nation above all, said, “My accountability is to the people of the country. If it is accepted by the countrymen, I don’t care what anyone else says about the election. Bangladesh is an independent and sovereign country. It may be a small country, but its population is huge. People are our main strength. So, I don’t care who says what. A favorable electoral environment has been ensured by confronting many hurdles. There were many obstacles, But the people of the country were wary of suffrage.
National elections are held every five years. We have created an environment so that people can vote without any hassle. Whether people accept this election or not is important to me. By forming a government with the support of the people, we will be able to implement the status that Bangladesh has as a developing country. I have this faith and trust in the people. Since 2009, the country has developed so much because of this democratic system. We have more work ahead of us, which we want to complete. No one could complain about the 2008 elections. BNP got only 30 seats out of 300 seats in that election and Awami League got 233 seats.
Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana were in Germany when the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed along with most of his family members in 1975. After spending almost half a century in exile, she returned to the country in 1981. Bangladesh Awami League, which also led the war of independence, took the lead. In her 43-year political journey, she has walked a steady path in fighting for the right to vote. After 21 years in 1996, Sheikh Hasina took oath as the Prime Minister of the country for the first time after winning the seventh parliamentary elections on June 23.
Awami League’s absolute victory in the 12th National Parliament election opened the door for Sheikh Hasina to become Prime Minister for the fifth time. This will also be a record for becoming the Prime Minister of the country. All in all, Sheikh Hasina has created a new history in the new year. She has served three times as the leader of the opposition party. Voting in the 12th National Parliament elections was completed in a peaceful and festive atmosphere all over the country, putting an end to all speculations, doubts and fears.
Apart from a couple of isolated incidents, no major violence was reported anywhere in the country. About 8 lakh members of law-and-order forces including Police, RAB, Ansar-VDP, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard have been deployed at the field level to ensure free, fair, and impartial elections and for voters to travel freely to the polling stations. Apart from this, 8 lakh officials were engaged in polling.
About two hundred foreign observers observed the election of the 12th National Parliament. 76 of them are journalists. In addition, several thousand local observers observed the election. Voters cast their votes smoothly. Voters also expressed their satisfaction with the law-and-order situation. Apart from men, the presence of women voters was also noticeable. Despite the anti-election propaganda and attempts to create panic in the public mind, the voter turnout is satisfactory across the country.
It is a victory for democracy. The Election Commission and Prime Minister and Awami President Sheikh Hasina announced that neutral elections have been implemented. Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal has commented that the national elections have been free, fair and impartial due to the political goodwill, sincerity and cooperation of the government. The government is sincere and we have received support as promised by the government, so elections were held in a free, fair and impartial manner with a concerted effort under the party government. 41.8 percent of voters voted in the election. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was able to successfully face all the conspiracies and lead her party Awami League to power again by winning a large number of votes. Her tenure is also called the golden era of development in the history of Bangladesh.
She successfully served as Prime Minister for 15 consecutive years and changed the image of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is now a truly changed Bangladesh. The people of the country have seen Sheikh Hasina’s magic of development success and progress for 15 years by opening the doors of all mega projects including the dream Padma Bridge, Metrorail, Bangabandhu Karnaphuli Tunnel, Elevated Expressway, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. In addition, at least 21 attempts were made on her life in her long political life. This includes the August 21 grenade attack. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina once again proved that there is no one else in the country who is equal to her in terms of political strategy and intelligence. Not only statesmen; but her name is also on the list of powerful personalities of the world. Sheikh Hasina is at the 46th position in Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s most powerful women in 2023.
Germany’s Angela Merkel was prime minister for 16 years with four consecutive terms. Indira Gandhi was in power for three terms for a little over 15 years. Sheikh Hasina has already broken their records and now she is writing a new history. She opened the way for the party leaders to participate in the elections to make the elections competitive and participatory. After her announcement, many local leaders of the Awami League participated in the election as independent candidates. Awami League and 14-party coalition partners have also lost in many places to independent candidates.
She was able to bring radical changes in increasing domestic production, infrastructure development, expansion and paving of roads, education, and treatment. In addition, Sheikh Hasina worked hard to protect the interests of workers by providing incentives for remittances, development in the clothing sector, and protecting the interests of the workers to enrich the country’s economy. Due to the prosecution of war criminals, suppression of militancy, and zero-tolerance policy against drugs, these negative effects could not be so strong even in the last decade and a half. Sending Bangabandhu satellite in space, women empowerment, digitalization of government services, city services in the rural environment.
Awami League was able to provide support to people through My Village My Town with all civic amenities in the village and my house my farm. Sheikh Hasina supervised herself from the grassroots to the highest level of Awami League. Foreign observers also expressed satisfaction with the overall conditions of the polls. Observer groups from the United States, Germany and Ireland gave complimentary and positive responses.
After visiting the polling station, they are very satisfied and very optimistic about the election of Bangladesh after seeing the presence of so many voters and the peaceful atmosphere in the polling station. They congratulated the Bangladesh government after seeing the presence of 40 to 70 percent of voters outside the capital. The observer group of the United States, Germany, and Ireland also said that the matter will be presented internationally. In the United States, Democratic Party politician Jim Batts said the vote was fair and participatory.
Bangladesh has turned around in every field including education, health, agriculture, and sports. Sheikh Hasina will take a strict stand against corruption and irregularities by forming a new smart cabinet – this is the expectation of the countrymen. The rise in prices of essential commodities has to be controlled, need to remove irregularities in the financial sector and curb money laundering. Sheikh Hasina is now the world’s best example and world leaders have praised her initiative to tackle the global crisis.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and researcher