Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who won a historic fourth term, becoming the country’s longest-serving leader, has indicated that she will retire after the current term to promote young leaders, according to a media report.
She has had a long career as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001, and has been leading the Bangladesh Awami League since 1981. In 2008, she returned as Prime Minister with a landslide victory. In January 2014, she became Prime Minister for a third term in an unopposed election, in an election boycotted by the opposition and criticised by international observers. She won a fourth term in December 2018 General Elections which the rivals termed as rigged .
In an interview with the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) 71-year-old Hasina, who assumed office just a month ago, for the fourth time as the prime minister, said she wanted to retire after the five-year term, the Bangladesh daily Dhaka Tribune reported.
“It’s the third consecutive term and before that I was prime minister (1996-2001), so it’s my fourth term. I don’t want to continue for more (time). I think that everybody should take a break so we can accommodate the younger generation,” she said.
On Tuesday, at a cultural event in Gazipur, the prime minister said she would like to go back to her ancestral village of Tungipara in Gopalganj to spend her retirement, the daily said.
Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won the 11th parliamentary elections in December last year with a landslide victory even as Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party rejected the polls marred with violence that claimed 18 lives, making it one of the deadliest polls in the country.
The Awami League chief was pitted against a united opposition Jatiya Oikya Front (United National Front) led by octogenarian Kamal Hossain, an Oxford-educated jurist and former foreign minister.
Her arch-rival ex-premier and BNP hief Khalida Zia, who has been serving a 17-year sentence for corruption, was barred from contesting the polls.
Asked about her plans about the rest of her tenure, Hasina said the fight against poverty will continue to be her first priority.
“Food security, housing, education, healthcare, job opportunities; these are basic needs,” she said, “Definitely, every human being wants a better life We have to ensure that.