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Bangladesh Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
    conventional short form: Bangladesh
    former: East Pakistan

    Data code: BG

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Dhaka

    Administrative divisions: 5 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi
    note: there may be one additional division named Sylhet

    Independence: 16 December 1971 (from Pakistan)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 26 March (1971)

    Constitution: 4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972, suspended following coup of 24 March 1982, restored 10 November 1986, amended many times

    Legal system: based on English common law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Shahabuddin AHMED (since 9 October 1996); note—the president's duties are normally ceremonial, but with the 13th amendment to the constitution ("Caretaker Government Amendment"), the president's role becomes significant at times when Parliament is dissolved and a caretaker government is installed—at presidential direction—to supervise the elections
    head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed (since 23 June 1996)
    cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 24 July 1996 (next to be held by NA October 2001); following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually appointed prime minister by the president
    election results: Shahabuddin AHMED elected president without opposition; percent of National Parliament vote—NA

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad (330 seats; 300 elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies, 30 seats reserved for women; members serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 12 June 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
    election results: percent of vote by party—AL 33.87%, BNP 30.87%; seats by party—AL 178, BNP 113, JP 33, JI 3, other 2, election still to be held 1; note—the elections of 12 June 1996 brought to power an Awami League government for the first time in twenty-one years; held under a neutral, caretaker administration, the elections were characterized by a peaceful, orderly process and massive voter turnout, ending a bitter two-year impasse between the former BNP and opposition parties that had paralyzed National Parliament and led to widespread street violence

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, the Chief Justices and other judges are appointed by the president

    Political parties and leaders: Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIAur Rahman]; Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA Wajed]; Jatiyo Party or JP [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Jamaat-E-Islami or JI [Motiur Rahman NIZAMI]; Bangladesh Communist Party or BCP [Saifuddin Ahmed MANIK]

    International organization participation: AsDB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNOMIL, UNPREDEP, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Khwaja Mohammad SHEHABUDDIN
    chancery: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 342-8372
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador John C. HOLZMAN
    embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212
    mailing address: G.P.O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000
    telephone: [880] (2) 884700 through 884722
    FAX: [880] (2) 883744

    Flag description: green with a large red disk slightly to the hoist side of center; the red sun of freedom represents the blood shed to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush countryside, and secondarily, the traditional color of Islam

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)