12th parliament: Cabinet to take oath Thursday, new faces in discussion

Jatiya Sangsad Bhabanfile photo

Following the completion of primary formalities including the announcement of official results of the 12th parliamentary elections, discussions have become widespread in governing Awami League over who to be included in and excluded from the cabinet of the new government.

Leaders of different echelons of the party have been discussing various new names that are likely to be inducted in the cabinet. However, nobody could provide any definite names.

On the third day of securing victory in the 12th parliamentary elections, the Awami League is set to form the government for the fourth straight term that would be led by incumbent prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

The cabinet will be sworn-in at Bangabhaban, the official residence of the President, at 7:00 pm on Thursday. Speaker of the 11th Jatiya Sangsad, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, has already administered the oath of the newly elected MPs on Wednesday morning. Earlier, the election commission (EC) gave approval to publication of the gazette regarding the 298 new members of parliament.

sources at the policymaking level of the Awami League informed Prothom Alo that at least 15 members of the current cabinet are likely to be excluded from the next one, largely due to age, various criticisms and inefficiency.

The tentative list included members who have been serving three cabinets at a stretch. Outside of this list, three cabinet members lost in the election while another three did not get the party’s nomination in the recently concluded election.

The three state ministers who lost in this election are - Enamur Rahman, Swapan Bhattacharjee and Mahbub Ali. Earlier, three more state ministers—Munnujan Sufian, Jakir Hossain and KM Khalid-- failed to get the party’s nomination in the election.  

AL sources said many first-time MPs can be picked in the cabinet. Names of several former bureaucrats turned MPs and some young MPs are also in the discussion.

AL source said some two to three state and deputy ministers of the current cabinet might get promotion. There might be some surprise picks in the cabinet.

Some central leaders of teh AL did not get any portfolios in the past despite being elected MP several times. Some of them are in discussion to get ministry this time.

The ruling party sources said the cabinet will consist of only AL leaders this time. That means, there is no possibility that Jatiya Party or the 14-party alliance leaders are going secure a place in the cabinet.

AL sources said the member of the new cabinet is likely to take oath on Thursday evening.

The ruling party sources said political challenge has been tackled by holding the election. The biggest challenge ahead is the economy. It will be hard to tackle the situation if the cabinet is not competent.

A senior AL leader on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo that only Sheikh Hasina knows who are going to be picked as ministers and who are not.