The 2006–2008 Bangladeshi political crisis began as a caretaker government (CTG) assumed power at the end of October 2006 following the end of term of the Bangladesh National Party administration. Under the constitution, the CTG manages the government during the interim 90-day period and parliamentary elections. Political conflict began with the appointment of a Chief Advisor, a role which devolved to the President, Dr. Iajuddin Ahmed, because of the failure by the major parties to agree on a candidate from among five considered. The interim period was marked from the beginning by violent protests initiated by the Awami League, with 40 people killed and hundreds injured in the first month. The Bangladesh National Party had its own complaints about the process and the opposition.
After extensive negotiations as the CTG tried to bring all the political parties to the table and had agreement for a scheduled election, on 3 January 2007, the Awami League said that it and the smaller parties of its Grand Alliance would boycott the general election to be held on 22 January 2007. They complained about the lack of an accurate voters list. More widespread violence and political rioting followed.
The "bitter rivalry" between the Awami League and BNP has affected the nation for the last two decades, although their political positions are not so far apart. The parties are led by women who represent assassinated leaders: Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, since 1981 has been head of the Awami League. Khaleda Zia, the head of the BNP, is the widow of the popular Ziaur Rahman, who as President founded the party in the late 1970s; he was assassinated in 1981.
On 11 January 2007 the military intervened to support the caretaker government of President Iajuddin, who had already declared a state of emergency. He accepted the resignations of most of his advisors. He also resigned as Chief Advisor, being replaced on 12 January by Fakhruddin Ahmed, who had worked for the World Bank. The government suppressed political activity to try to restore stability. In the spring, it started to work on corruption cases, charging 160 persons, including both party leaders, other politicians, civil servants and businessmen for actions going back to the late 1990s. The nation has had an extreme reputation for corruption under both the major political parties. In addition, some observers speculated that the caretaker government was trying to force both party leaders into exile to stabilise the country and reduce the political polarisation. The CTG also charged Sheikh Hasina for alleged murder for the deaths of four persons during protests in the fall of 2006. The High Court held that Khaleda Zia could not be charged under emergency law for events that happened prior to the emergency but on appeal, in September 2007 the Bangladesh Supreme Court ruled that the Zia trial should proceed. Near the end of 2008, the caretaker government moved to restore democratic government and held elections in December. The Awami League and Grand Alliance won by a two-thirds majority, and formed a government in 2009.
According to Bangladesh's unique system, at the time of national parliamentary elections, which must be held within ninety days of dissolving a parliament, a caretaker government is entrusted to oversee the process and manage in the interim. First established in an informal way, the CTG provisions were incorporated by amendment in 1996 into the constitution. It stipulates that the Chief Advisor position (with the status of Prime Minister) is filled by the appointment of the last retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He appoints a maximum of ten advisors (with the status of ministers) to assist in managing the government. The caretaker government runs all the state's affairs during the 90-day interim, including conducting the nationwide parliamentary elections. During this interim period, the Defense Ministry's charge is transferred to the country's President of Bangladesh, who assumes the role of Commander-in-Chief.
At the end of BNP's 2001–2006 term, the Awami League questioned the neutrality of K. M. Hasan, the immediate past Chief Justice, who was in line to become Chief Advisor of the caretaker government. With uncertainty about who would be appointed as CA, Awami supporters led protests and violence beginning on 28 October, which resulted in 40 deaths and hundreds of injuries in the first month.
At the backdrop against the situation, the former Chief Justice K. M. Hasan declined to take the job of Chief Advisor (CA), citing health reasons. However, according to the provision, the constitutional obligations must be performed without fear and favour. Hindering this sacred responsibility is deemed to be serious violation of the constitution, which is to be punished in highest order.
According to a BDNews24 report based on later Wikileaks, Justice Hasan had started recruiting advisors before he was sworn in. President Iajuddin Ahmed directed his Presidential Advisor to organise meetings with the four major political parties representing parliament, but the parties were unable to agree on an appointment for Chief Advisor, although five men were considered.
Justice Mainur Reza Chowdhury was discussed as a nominee, but he died before appointment. Two retired justices of the Supreme Court: Justice M. A. Aziz and Justice Hamidul Haq, were also considered. Aziz was Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) at that time. The Awami League complained about him in that position, so did not accept him for CA. Justice Haq was disqualified as he had been appointed Chairman of the Judicial Training Institute by the immediate past BNP government. Having held a for-profit office is a disqualification for the CA. In addition, BNP opposed his nomination as CA.
Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury was considered. He had retired before Mainur Reza Chowdhury. The BNP opposed him, as the Parliamentary Adviser of Khaleda Zia was against him. In August 2012, The Daily Star reported that Khaleda Zia has said she regretted having opposed Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury's appointment at the time.
Given the parties' failure to agree on a candidate, according to the constitution the position devolved to the President, Iajuddin Ahmed, serving since 2002. He took it on in addition to his regular responsibilities, which under the caretaker government included the Defense Ministry. Iajuddin Ahmed formed a government, appointing ten advisors to a council to act as ministers. He appointed his press spokesman, the journalist Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury, as his chief Presidential Advisor, with the status of Minister of State. Chowdhury had the responsibility to negotiate with the political parties to bring them to participation in the election.
The Awami League agreed to take part in the elections, but demanded that Iajuddin Ahmed make mass changes to the administration to free it from what they called the BNP's politicisation. They also demanded that a new and accurate voter list be compiled. The BNP also had its own issues against the opposition. Hussain Muhammad Ershad, head of the Jatiya Party allied with BNP, asked the CTG not to extend date of submission of nominations for candidates, as requested by Awami League, as his candidates had filed on time. At Sheikh Hasina's demand, a presidential advisor negotiated with the Election Commission to gain a two-day extension for filing of nominations On 23 December 2006, all political parties joined the planned elections of 22 January 2007. The last day of nomination filing was extended to 26 December 2006 to accommodate all political parties, as requested by Sheikh Hasnna to Mukhles Chowdhury.
On 3 January 2007, the last day possible, the Awami League declared that they and their allies would boycott the election. The withdrawal added to the political uncertainty and more violent protests resulted, in which hundreds had already been injured. These actions had devastating, disruptive effects on the economy.
As the BBC noted,
"The two women [Hasina and Zia] are bitter rivals and barely speak to each other. Their mutual loathing is reflected among their respective sets of supporters.
Bangladesh is one of the most politically polarised countries in the world, even though the actual policy differences between the two largest parties do not amount to anything significant.
But the ceaseless bickering and violent confrontations have meant that the Bangladeshi economy – already fragile – is coming under further pressure."
Military representatives met with President Ahmed on 11 January, urging him to declare a state of emergency, and to resign and appoint an Interim Chief Advisor. According to a United States diplomatic cable later released under Wikileaks, the Army Chief, General Moeen U Ahmed, and his group persuaded the President to declare a state of emergency on 11 January 2007. At the time, the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence & Counterterrorism, Brigadier General A T M Amin, met with the US Ambassador, Patricia Butenis, to explain the military's concerns. Given the Awami League's withdrawal from the elections, they believed that supporting a one-sided election might threaten the armed forces continued participation in UN peacekeeping missions – UNPKO, which they valued. In addition, they were worried about threatened terrorist violence from Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which had set off 300 bombs in August 2005. They wanted a neutral government established until "fair, free and credible elections" could be held in which all parties participated.
In the near term, Justice Fazlul Haque, the senior CTG advisor, was to be appointed Interim Chief Advisor, and Fakhruddin Ahmed, a prominent banker, would quickly be appointed Chief Advisor to replace Iajuddin Ahmed. All of them were the violation of the constitution and when chief advisor or prime minister resigns the whole advisory council or cabinet is deemed to be resigned what Advisor Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury categorically pointed out. Mukhles Chowdhury also deleted some sentences, which were derogated remarks against the country to justify the military intervention, written by Lt. Gen. Moeen in the president's speech broadcast on 11 January 2011. Moeen's main pillar of 11 January 2007 military coup was then Military Secretary to the President (MSP) Major General Aminul Karim. Due to this, Advisor Mukhles Chowdhury attempted to replace him by then General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 24 Division Major General Md Abdul Mubeen, who was later appointed as army chief by successive government. Unfortunately, DG of Special Security Force (SSF) Major General Syed Fatemi Ahmed Rumi supported Aminul Karim and misled former prime minister Khaleda Zia on this. Initially. Mrs Zia was convinced by Advisor Chowdhury, but later she took side of Rumi. But what she did not realise that once loyal this army officer had already betrayed with her. Although Rumi was posted long five years of Khaleda Zia's tenure with her, she was under surveillance by him as well. During those days, he intercepted her personal life. Ironically, an army group including him,tried to publish a Nikahnama (marriage document)of his once boss in Prothom Alo, a bangla daily. Fatemi Rumi accompanied General Moeen to his maiden visit to India, he was posted by Moeen to Rangpur division of army where Moeen visite three times and worked to establish a University in Rangpur. Moreover, Rumi pressured businessmen to contribute donation for the Kings Party "Jago Bangladesh" a political party created by Moeen, which dies a natural death. Likewise, when Mukhles Chowdhury informed top politicians that by 12 January 2011 there would be a martial law in Bangladesh, Brigadier Chowdhury Fazlul Bari misled Khaleda Zia with the help of Aminul Karim to implement Moeen's plan to capture Presidency. In addition, Amin (popularly known as Bihari Amin as he was a settler from India's Bihar Province) informed the US diplomats that the Director General for National Security Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Md. Rezzaqul Haider Chowdhury (Haider), was relieved from duty and being investigated. (Later that year, he was charged in the 10-Truck Arms and Ammunition Haul in Chittagong, an incident of smuggling to a militant organisation based in India.) The President's remaining CTG advisor, M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury, was also relieved of his duties. The cable noted that both men were believed to be paths of influence from Khaleda Zia and the BNP.
Assuring the diplomats of the military's support for the civilian government, Amin said their immediate goals for the caretaker government were to:
The BBC reported on 11 January 2007 that, given the withdrawal of the Awami League, and announced resignations, the United Nations and the European Union immediately suspended their election monitoring operations, as conditions for a credible vote did not exist. The EU said,
"The European Commission has decided to suspend its Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Bangladesh covering the parliamentary elections on 22nd January. The European Commission has recalled the long-term observers already on the ground, and will not deploy the other phases of its observation mission, which was due to be led by MEP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff."
A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said,
"The political crisis in Bangladesh has severely jeopardised the legitimacy of the electoral process. The announced cancellation of numerous international observation missions is regrettable. The United Nations has had to suspend all technical support to the electoral process, including by closing its International Coordination Office for Election Observers in Dhaka."
On the same day as the UN and EU withdrawal, Chief Advisor Iajuddin Ahmed announced a state of emergency in Bangladesh. He established a late night to early morning (11 p.m. to 5 am) curfew. The Economist reported this action as a form of coup d'état. Within hours President Ahmed announced his resignation as chief advisor and postponed the scheduled election. Prior to his resignation, he accepted the resignations of nine of the ten advisors of the caretaker government.
President Ahmed appointed Justice Fazlul Haque, the senior-ranking CTG advisor, as the interim Chief Advisor. The columnist Zafar Sobhan of the Daily Star newspaper wrote, "It is fairly apparent that it was done under pressure from the army because of the threat that the country could lose its peacekeeping role" with the United Nations, which was both prestigious and lucrative in terms of payment to the country.
On 12 January 2007, with military backing, the former Bangladesh Bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed, who had worked for the World Bank, was sworn in as the new Chief Advisor. He appointed five advisors on 13 January to form the new interim government. When he was officially named as the head of the caretaker government, he lifted the curfew. The state of emergency was continued, suspending some basic rights provided by the constitution, such as the freedom of movement, assembly, and speech to limit protests and disruptive political activity.
In 2007, the caretaker government pursued graft and corruption charges against both major party leaders and some of their senior staff, trying to clean up the country, which was notorious for corruption. It filed charges against 160 politicians, civil servants, and businessmen, including Tareque and Arafat Rahman, two sons of the former prime minister, Khaleda Zia, who were both active in the BNP. Later in the year, the government filed charges of corruption against both her and Sheikh Hasina, leader of the Awami League. This anti-corruption effort was greeted with approval by the people, who were tired of government officials "siphoning off the country's wealth."
In April, the media reported that the caretaker government was trying to force both major party leaders out of the country, which was needed to reform the political system. Supporters of Khaleda Zia were negotiating for her to go to Saudi Arabia, but that country declined. The CTG banned Sheikh Hasina from returning from a trip and had prohibited political activity. By 26 April 2007, the government had changed its position, and allowed Hasina to return and both leaders to resume political activities. Hasina was being charged with murder for the deaths of four opposition supporters in late 2006, allegedly due to attacks by her party members, prior to the state of emergency being imposed.
On 12 July 2007, Sheikh Hasina, party leader of the Awami League, was arrested for graft, based on charges filed by a businessman against her for actions in 1998.
After holding power for more than a year, the CTG decided to hold local elections in some locations on 4 August 2008. The main parties criticised this as unconstitutional. General elections were held on 29 December 2008, when the Awami League and its Grand Alliance won two-thirds of the seats in parliament. The BNP and its four-party alliance, including Jamaat-e-Islami, comprise the major opposition.
The Eighth National Parliamentary Elections 2001 (Bengali: অষ্টম জাতীয় সংসদ নির্বাচন ২০০১) were held in Bangladesh on 1 October 2001. 300 single-seat constituencies for the Jatiya Sangsad were contested by 1,935 candidates representing 54 parties and including 484 independents. The election was the second to be held under the caretaker government concept, introduced in 1996. The chief adviser of the caretaker government was Justice Latifur Rahman. The result was a win for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party with its leader Khaleda Zia becoming Prime Minister.AKM Jahangir Hossain
AKM Jahan Hosan is a Bangladesh Awami League politician and the incumbent Member of Parliament from Patuakhali-3.Bangladesh
Bangladesh (; Bengali: বাংলাদেশ Bangladesh [ˈbaŋladeʃ] (listen), lit. "The country of Bengal"), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh (গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ Gônoprojatontri Bangladesh), is a country in South Asia. It shares land borders with India and Myanmar (Burma). The country's maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal is roughly equal to the size of its land area. Bangladesh is the world's eighth most populous country as well as its most densely-populated, to the exclusion of small island nations and city-states. Dhaka is its capital and largest city, followed by Chittagong, which has the country's largest port. Bangladesh forms the largest and easternmost part of the Bengal region. Bangladeshis include people from a range of ethnic groups and religions. Bengalis, who speak the official Bengali language, make up 98% of the population. The politically dominant Bengali Muslims make the nation the world's third largest Muslim-majority country. Islam is the official religion of Bangladesh.Most of Bangladesh is covered by the Bengal delta, the largest delta on Earth. The country has 700 rivers and 8,046 km (5,000 mi) of inland waterways. Highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country. Bangladesh has many islands and a coral reef. The longest unbroken natural sea beach of the world, Cox's Bazar Beach, is located in the southeast. It is home to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. The country's biodiversity includes a vast array of plant and wildlife, including endangered Bengal tigers, the national animal.
The Greeks and Romans identified the region as Gangaridai, a powerful kingdom of the historical Indian subcontinent, in the 3rd century BCE. Archaeological research has unearthed several ancient cities in Bangladesh, which enjoyed international trade links for millennia. The Bengal Sultanate and Mughal Bengal transformed the region into a cosmopolitan Islamic imperial power between the 14th and 18th centuries. The region was home to many principalities that made use of their inland naval prowess. It was also a notable center of the global muslin and silk trade. As part of British India, the region was influenced by the Bengali renaissance and played an important role in anti-colonial movements. The Partition of British India made East Bengal a part of the Dominion of Pakistan; and renamed it as East Pakistan. The region witnessed the Bengali Language Movement in 1952 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. After independence was achieved, a parliamentary republic was established. A presidential government was in place between 1975 and 1990, followed by a return to parliamentary democracy. The country continues to face challenges in the areas of poverty, education, healthcare, and corruption.
Bangladesh is a middle power and a developing nation. Listed as one of the Next Eleven, its economy ranks 43rd in terms of nominal gross domestic product and 29th in terms of purchasing power parity. It is one of the largest textile exporters in the world. Its major trading partners are the European Union, the United States, China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. With its strategically vital location between South, East and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh is an important promoter of regional connectivity and cooperation. It is a founding member of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation and the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Initiative. It is also a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Commonwealth of Nations, the Developing 8 Countries, the OIC, the Indian-Ocean Rim Association, the Non Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and the World Trade Organization. Bangladesh is one of the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping forces.Chief Adviser of Bangladesh
The Chief Adviser was the head of the Caretaker Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh who served as the Head of Government for 90 days during transition between one elected government to another during the term of the caretaker government. The Caretaker Government was mandated only to hold the Parliamentary Elections in Bangladesh. The Chief Adviser headed an Advisory Committee comprising ten Advisers. With powers roughly equivalent to those of the Prime Minister of an elected government, his executive power was constrained with certain constitutional limitations. He, as well as the other advisers, were selected from politically neutral individuals so as to be acceptable to all major political parties.Moeen U Ahmed
Moeen Uddin Ahmed is a former Bangladesh army general and the 12th Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army from 15 June 2005 to 15 June 2009 with last one-year extension during the caretaker government led by Fakhruddin Ahmed. He has worked in Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan as a Defence Attaché in the rank of Brigadier, prior to that he served as a UN Peacekeeper in United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda as a Colonel in 1995.
Moeen Uddin Ahmed is the first army chief of staff who was commissioned in the newly formed Bangladesh Military Academy then at Comilla (now at Chittagong). He is the first regular four-star general after liberation war, although the first official four-star general was country's commander-in chief of liberation war and liberation forces M. A. G. Osmani, leading the war of independence in 1971 and second person was Lieutenant-General Mustafizur Rahman who was promoted to full general on the day of his retirement in December 23, 2000.
Moeen was, behind the scenes, the main actor, although unlawfully, as the Chief of Army Staff during the 2006–08 Bangladeshi political crisis, violating constitution.Although the Caretaker Government had gone beyond its constitutional 3 months period it is credited for some remarkable changes like introduction of national identity card, activation of anti corruption bureau which was later given additional power and status as a commission. This military-backed government is also credited for paving way towards independent judiciary by implementing relevant 'Mazdar Hussain Case'and forming independent judicial appointments commission. Initially Bangladeshis were generally happy for the sense relief it gave after unprecedented anarchy on the streets of major cities but soon people started to be suspicious about intention or objective of the government. Events like General Moeen's publication of books on politics or patronising a political party led by Ferdous Ahmed Qureshi were not received positively at a backdrop of delivering effort in terminating political career of former Prime Ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.National Security Intelligence
The National Security Intelligence (Bengali: জাতীয় নিরাপত্তা গোয়েন্দা), commonly known as the NSI, is the principal intelligence agency of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ). The NSI's headquarters is in 1 Segunbagicha, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The NSI is the leading body of the Government of Bangladesh in the field of internal security, counter terrorism, counter intelligence and foreign intelligence. NSI is the largest among the intelligence agencies in Bangladesh, the others being the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), SB, CID, Army Intelligence, Naval Intelligence among others. The agency stands under the direct authority of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.This is an independent international intelligence agency. Like other intelligence agencies, NSI is believed to have branch offices outside Bangladesh. The NSI also has territorial units in all of the 64 districts of Bangladesh, headed by a Joint Director/Deputy Director or Assistant Director.Being the only independent intelligence agency in Bangladesh, the NSI's principal activities are gathering information about foreign governments, individuals, corporations, political parties, different religious groups, terrorists and counter-intelligence against foreign intelligence agencies etc.Rafique Ul Huq
Rafique Ul Huq (born 2 November 1935) is a Bangladeshi lawyer and a former Attorney General of Bangladesh.Salman F Rahman
Salman Fazlur Rahman (born 23 May 1951) is a Bangladeshi industrialist who is also a member of the Jatiya Sangsad. He was ranked 1685th on the list of billionaires in the world published by Beijing-based Hurun Gobal in 2017. He is the current vice chairman of Beximco Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Bangladesh. Since 2009, he has been serving as the private sector development affairs adviser to the Bangladesh Awami League President Sheikh Hasina. Currently he is acting as the president of several trade bodies including Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO). In January 2019, he was appointed as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's adviser on private industry and investment.Sheikh Hasina
Sheikh Hasina Wazed (Bengali: শেখ হাসিনা ওয়াজেদ; English: , SHAYK hə-SEE-nə; born 28 September 1947) is a Bangladeshi politician serving as the 10th Prime Minister of Bangladesh, having held the office since January 2009. She is the longest serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh.
She is the daughter of Bangladesh's first President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Her political career has spanned more than four decades. She previously served as opposition leader from 1986 to 1990 and from 1991 to 1995, as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001, and has been leading the Bangladesh Awami League since 1981. In 2008, she returned as Prime Minister with a landslide victory. In January 2014, she became Prime Minister for a third term in an unopposed election, in an election boycotted by the opposition and criticised by international observers. She won a fourth term in December 2018, following an election marred with violence and criticised by the opposition as being rigged.
Hasina is considered one of the most powerful women in the world, ranking 26th on Forbes' list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2018. and 30th in 2017. Sheikh Hasina has also made her room in the list of top 100 Global Thinkers of the present decade as the famous US-based Foreign Policy journal came up with a register of worldwide thinkers. She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers.Her tenure as Prime Minister has been marred by several scandals and criticised for authoritarian practices. Scandals under her time include: Padma Bridge Scandal, Hallmark-Sonali Bank Scam, Share market Scandal, Rana Plaza collapse, and Bangladesh road safety protests 2018. She has also been praised for economic growth under her tenure.Syed Muhammad Ibrahim
Syed Muhammad Ibrahim is a Bangladeshi politician and retired Major General of the Bangladesh Army. He is the founder of Bangladesh Kallyan Party. He was awarded Bir Protik, the fourth highest gallantry award for military personal in Bangladesh for his bravery during the Bangladesh Liberation war.Zillur Rahman
Mohammed Zillur Rahman (9 March 1929 – 20 March 2013) was the President of Bangladesh from 2008 to 2013. He was also a senior presidium member of the Awami League. He is the third president of Bangladesh, after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Ziaur Rahman, to die in office, while being the first to die of natural causes.