Hasina may expand cabinet to include allies


Dhaka : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may expand her cabinet that has a majority of first-termers to add some old hands and political allies, a media report said.

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She also plans to activate the Awami League that has been beset with infighting since its massive poll victory in December.

In the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament), where she enjoys a two-thirds majority, Hasina plans to create two more posts of deputy speakers, one for a woman lawmaker from the Awami League and another for the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Her team of 32 includes 25 newcomers, many of them handling key portfolios. Analysts had then noted that she had kept out experienced hands, many of whom are politically senior to her and had worked under her father and Bangladesh’s founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

While she did include some nominees from the allied parties, she kept out their leaders.

Trade unionist and Workers Party chief Rashed Khan Menon (repeat Menon) is understood to be among those lobbying to become ministers, The Daily Star said.

Hasina has made her displeasure at the cabinet’s performance known. She has already placed her team on alert telling them that those who do not perform could be dropped.

The newspaper said the changes could take place in the next three or four days or close to the budget session next month.