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The President appointed Sheikh Hasina as the Prime Minister

(DHAKA, January 06, 2009)

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The eldest daughter of country's founding leader and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina today formed the new government as she took oath as the prime minister for second time with 23 ministers and eight state ministers in her 31-member council of ministers.

President Professor Dr Iajuddin Ahmed administered the oath of office and secrecy at an austere but exciting ceremony at the gleaming Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban.

The President appointed Sheikh Hasina as the Prime Minister as per

article 56 (3) of the constitution, while he appointed the ministers as per article 56 (2.

As the swearing in is over, Hasina signed the oath of office and oath of secrecy.

The ministers who took oath are: Abul Mal Abdul Muhith, Begum Motia Chowdhury, Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Barrister Shafique Ahmed, Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khandoker, Raziuddin Ahmed Raju, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Syed Ashraful Islam, Eng Khandoker Mosharraf Hossain, Rezaul Karim Hira, Abul Kalam Azad, Enamul Haque Mustafa Shahid, Dilip Barua, Ramesh Chandra Sen, GM Kader, Lt. Col (retd) Faruque Khan, Syed Abul Hossain, Dr Abdur Razzak, Dr Afsarul Amin, Prof AFM Ruhul Haque, Dr Dipumoni, Nurul Islam Nahid and Abdul Latif Biswas.

The state ministers are: Advocate Mustafizur Rahman, Capt (retd) ABM Tajul Islam, Tanzim Ahmed Sohel Taj, Begum Munnuzan Sufian, architect Yafez Usman, Dr Hassan Mahmud, Dipanker Talukder and Ahad Ali Sarker.

Guests present at the jam-packed glittering Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban included former presidents, Chief Advisor of the caretaker government Dr Fakaruddin Ahmed, Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda, Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court, MPs, political leaders, chiefs of the three services, members of the diplomatic corps, journalists, elite and high civil and military officials.

Sheikh Hasina's younger sister Sheikh Rehana, daughter Sayma Wajed Putul and son-in-law Khondokar Mashrur Hossain Mithu were also present.

BNP, which suffered a crushing defeat in the general elections, sent a delegation to the ceremony, where BNP leaders MK Anwar, Slahuddin Quader Chowdhury, Barkatullah Bulu and Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anny attended.

Mayor of Dhaka Sadek Hossain Khoka also attended the function.

Attired in a white saree, Sheikh Hasina was looking confident and lively at the Darbar Hall.

Immediate past Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia's cabinet had 27 ministers, 28 state ministers and four deputy ministers. A total of 34 new faces got place in her cabinet, where two alleged war criminals including Moulana Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid also sworn in as ministers.

The spacious Darbar Hall was overflowing with the invited guests, many of whom were seen standing along the walls.

Thousands of people belonging to all walks of life thronged the Rajuk Avenue and Bangabandhu Avenue traffic intersection to have a glimpse of the new prime minister when she was on her way back from Bangabhaban.

Earlier, people had assembled in processions from different parts of the capital city chanting slogans hailing Sheikh Hasina.

Hasina was given standing ovation when she entered the Darbar Hall at 6.40 pm. Four minutes later President Professor Dr Iajuddin Ahmed entered the Darbar Hall, where the Prime Minister took oath at 6.48 pm.

The ceremony began with the recitation from the holy Quran.

Sheikh Hasina took oath pledging that she would preserve, protect and defend the national constitution and state
sovereignty. In her instant brief reaction to the media after the swearing in ceremony, she said, improving law and order and controlling the prices of essentials would be her government's first priorities.

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