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Profile of Bangladesh's new leader

Profile of Bangladesh's new leader

Sheikh Hasina, the 61-year-old heir to a Bangladeshi political dynasty and former prime minister, is set to regain the post of leader of the South Asian nation, following her 15-party alliance's landslide victory in Monday's elections.
The veteran politician was first elected prime minister in 1996 for a five-year term, and was leader of the opposition three times between 1986 and 2006.
Born in 1947, Hasina is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh's independence leader and first head of state from 1971 until he, his wife and three sons were killed in a military coup on Aug. 15, 1975.
Hasina and her younger sister, Sheikh Rehana, were in Europe at the time and survived, later taking political asylum in neighboring India.
She returned to Bangladesh in 1981, and inherited the leadership of her father's Awami League party, returning the party to power after 21 years, narrowly winning the 1996 parliamentary polls.
Since then, she has traded power with Khaleda Zia in a rivalry that has been blamed for much of the corruption, mismanagement and paralyzing protests that have made Bangladesh virtually ungovernable.
Both women currently face corruption charges. Hasina was arrested in July 2007 and was released on bail in June 2008. She has dismissed the charges as politically motivated.
Hasina escaped two serious attempts on her life _ gunfire at a political rally in 1986 and a grenade attack on a public meeting in 2004 _ that left dozens of her supporters dead.
One of her major acts as prime minister was to sign a peace treaty with tribal rebels in southeastern Bangladesh, ending a 25-year insurgency and winning international praise.
Hasina is married to M.A. Wazed Miah, a nuclear scientist. They have a son and a daughter, who are both married and live abroad.


Updated : 2021-04-15 23:33 GMT+08:00