Bangladesh Politics

By | March 21, 2021

Poster to celebrate 41 years of independence

Poster to celebrate 41 years of independence

Government poster against opposition activities

Government poster against opposition activities

Poster praising Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the peace treaty in the Chittagong Hill Tracts

Poster praising Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the peace treaty in the Chittagong Hill Tracts

As a country located in southern Asia according to themakeupexplorer, Bangladesh’s official name is the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (transliterated: Gaṇaprajātantrī Bāṃlādeś) and its system of government has been parliamentary since 1991. This was preceded by the reign of General Hossain Muhammad Ershad (transliterated: Husein Muhāmmad ErśꞋād). He had made himself president after a coup and ruled autocratically or on the basis of a controversial election victory until 1990. The first free elections in Bangladesh were organized in 1991 by a transitional government. One of the election promises of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (abbr.: BNP; transliterated: Bāṃlādeś Jātīẏtābādī Dal, BienꞋpi) with Khaleda Zia (transliterated: Khāledā Jiẏā) as prime minister was a return to a parliamentary system. With the twelfth amendment to the constitution (transliterated: saṃbidhān) in August 1991, this election promise was realized. The power of the president (transliterated: rāṣṭrapati) was restricted to representative, ceremonial tasks. The executive power was henceforth with the Prime Minister (transliterated: pradhānꞋmantrī), who took over the management of the government. The offices of Prime Minister and President are filled by election (transliterated: nirbācan) by parliament (transliterated: Jātīẏa Saṃsad). A term of office is limited to a period of five years. A prime minister can be re-elected an unlimited number of times, a state president can be elected by the same person for two terms. The cabinet (transliterated: mantrisabhā, ua) is the highest political decision-making body and is chaired by the Prime Minister. The current Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina (transliterated: Śekh Hāsinā) heads the tenth cabinet with 33 ministers (transliterated: mantrī). The parliament (transliterated: jātīẏa saṃsad) consists of 350 seats. Of these, 300 seats will be filled in the course of general elections by the eligible population, citizens aged 18 and over. The remaining 50 seats are reserved for women, elected by Members of Parliament. Citizens aged 18 and over, occupied. The remaining 50 seats are reserved for women, elected by Members of Parliament. Citizens aged 18 and over, occupied. The remaining 50 seats are reserved for women, elected by Members of Parliament.

Posters for 'Victory Day

Posters for ‘Victory Day

Parliament building

Parliament building

The Constitution

The Bangladeshi Constitution came into force on November 4, 1972. It was drawn up on the principles of democracy, nationalism, socialism and secularism. It has been changed 16 times since its inception, most recently in 2014. Every change always represented a change in the political landscape of Bangladesh. The first constitutional amendment was made in 1973. A criminal prosecution of war criminals according to international law was made possible by this addition. The fourth constitutional amendment expanded the president’s scope of action and another, made under General Ershad (see above) in 1988, gave Islam the status of a state religion. Much was reversed a few years later, for example Bangladesh became a parliamentary democracy again in 1991.

Administrative division

Bangladesh is administratively structured as follows

  • 8 provinces (transliterated: bibhāg; eng.: division) are the largest administrative units. They were named after the largest city in the province. They are called Barisal / Barishal (transliterated: Bariśāl (bibhāg)), Chittagong (transliterated: Caṭṭagrām (bibhāg)), Dhaka (transliterated: Ḍhākā (bibhāg)), Khulna (transliterated: KhulꞋnā (transliterhāg)), Maimansingh ((bibhāg)), Rajshahi (transliterated: RājꞋśāhī (bibhāg)), Rangpur (transliterated: Raṃpur (bibhāg)), Sylhet (transliterated: Sileṭ (bibhāg))
  • 64 districts (transliterated: jelā; eng.: zilla, zila) in total
  • 490 units, which roughly correspond to the German rural districts (transliterated: upajelā; eng.: upazilla, upazila)
  • 4500 municipalities: There are three types with correspondingly different names. These are cities (transliterated: śaha), city corporations (transliterated: siṭi karporeśan) and some are referred to as unions (transliterated: iuniẏan (pariṣad)). The latter represent summaries of individual villages (transliterated: grām). The village or city is the smallest unit for administrative purposes.

The indigenous population in the southeast of the country, there in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (transliterated: Pārbatya Caṭṭagrām), have a right to limited self-government. The same administrative law does not apply to them as in the rest of Bangladesh. The eight provinces have fewer decision-making powers than federal states or states in a federal system. The majority of government activities, including for the respective parts of the country, are decided centrally. This means little freedom of design, especially at the municipal level. The respective administrative bodies are coordinated at the district level by a representative appointed by the government (eng.: deputy commissioner; abbr.: DC) and a district council (transliterated: jilā pariṣad). They exercise political steering and control functions. This includes, among other tasks, the maintenance and expansion of the infrastructure, the administration of public welfare, medical and educational facilities. Funding for this is allocated by the central government. The district level is structured similarly. There, the respective chairman has comparatively more influence than the deputy commissioner at district level. At the next lower level, the Union Councils (transliterated: iuniẏan pariṣad) consist of nine elected members from the respective municipalities. The Union Councils are locally responsible for settling disputes, controlling and issuing licenses for land use, maintaining cemeteries, maintaining and expanding roads, lighting in public spaces, promoting education and other things. Revenue, that are levied independently of the government in Dhaka are property and building taxes, fees from the leasing of land, lakes or ponds that are owned by the Union. The system is comparable in the cities. There, too, district representatives are elected by the population who are responsible for tasks similar to those of the Union Councils. Both differ in terms of their financial resources. City revenues have grown with an increase in fees and taxes. This allows a little more leeway. who are responsible for tasks similar to those of the Union Councils. Both differ in terms of their financial resources. City revenues have grown with an increase in fees and taxes. This allows a little more leeway. who are responsible for tasks similar to those of the Union Councils. Both differ in terms of their financial resources. City revenues have grown with an increase in fees and taxes. This allows a little more leeway.