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World > Asia > Bangladesh > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Bangladesh - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT
The president, while chief of state, holds a largely ceremonial post; the real power is held by the prime minister, who is head of government. The president is elected by the legislature (Parliament) every 5 years. The president's circumscribed powers are substantially expanded during the tenure of a caretaker government. (Under the 13th Amendment, which Parliament passed in March 1996, a caretaker government assumes power temporarily to oversee general elections after dissolution of the Parliament.) In the caretaker government, the president has control over the Ministry of Defense, the authority to declare a state of emergency, and the power to dismiss the Chief Adviser and other members of the caretaker government. Once elections have been held and a new government and Parliament are in place, the president's powers and position revert to their largely ceremonial role. The Chief Adviser and other advisers to the caretaker government must be appointed within 15 days from the day the current Parliament expires.

The prime minister is appointed by the president. The prime minister must be a Member of Parliament (MP) whom the president feels commands the confidence of the majority of other MPs. The cabinet is composed of ministers selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president. At least 90% of the ministers must be MPs. The other 10% may be non-MP experts or 'technocrats' who are not otherwise disqualified from being elected MPs. According to the constitution, the president can dissolve Parliament upon the written request of the prime minister.

The legislature is a unicameral, 300-seat body. All of its members are elected by universal suffrage at least every five years. Parliament amended the constitution in May 2004, making a provision for adding 45 seats reserved for women and to be distributed among political parties in proportion to their numerical strength in Parliament. The AL did not take its share of the reserved seats, arguing that they did not support the indirect election or nomination of women to fill these seats. Several women's groups also demanded direct election to fill the reserved seats for women.

Bangladesh's judiciary is a civil court system based on the British model; the highest court of appeal is the appellate court of the Supreme Court. At the local government level, the country is divided into divisions, districts, subdistricts, unions, and villages. Local officials are elected at the union level and selected at the village level. All larger administrative units are run by members of the civil service.

Principal Government Officials
President--Iajuddin Ahmed
Chief Adviser to the Caretaker Government--Fakhruddin Ahmed
Foreign Affairs Adviser--Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury
Ambassador to the United States--vacant
Ambassador to the United Nations--vacant

Bangladesh maintains an embassy in the United States at 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-244-0183; fax: 202-244-5366). Bangladesh has Consulates General in New York and Los Angeles.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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