2-3 new cabinet members likely from reserved seats

DailySun || Shining BD

Published: 2/20/2024 5:58:47 AM

Prime Minister and the ruling Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina is likely to introduce two or three new members in the present cabinet from the upcoming 48 lawmakers of her party from the reserved seats of the 12th parliament.

Potential candidates for these positions include Tarana Halim, Waseqa Ayesha Khan, Faridun Nahar Laili, and Dr Rokeya Sultana.

Besides, a major reshuffle is likely to happen in the incumbent cabinet, sources said.

Tarana Halim, a central working committee member of the ruling AL, previously served as the State Minister for the Post and Telecommunications Ministry and was a reserved seat MP in the 9th parliament.

Waseqa Ayesha Khan, the Finance and Planning Affairs secretary of the AL central committee, also served as a reserved seat MP in the 11th parliament.

Faridun Nahar Laili, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Affairs Secretary of the AL central committee, held a seat in the 9th parliament as well.

Dr Rokeya Sultana is the Health and Population Affairs Secretary of the AL central committee.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission on Monday declared valid all 50 candidates – 48 from AL and independents and 2 from Jatiya Party – to stand for election in as many seats reserved for women in parliament.

According to the Election Commission, the 50 candidates will win unopposed after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations passes.

According to the schedule, the candidates have until 22 February to appeal against the EC’s decision. The date for the disposal of the appeals is 24 February. The last day for candidates to withdraw is 25 February.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formed the present cabinet with 25 ministers and 11 state ministers on 11 January after winning the 12th general election.

There is a strong possibility that the Prime Minister will extend the cabinet to 47-member by adding 11 new members.

Sources said, at least one new minister, six to seven state ministers, and two to three deputy ministers may be appointed.

Recently, AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader also hinted about the extension of the current cabinet after the election of parliamentary seats reserved for women.

Obaidul Quader said, “The new faces could appear in some places like the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs from time to time.”

He also said, “I think new ministers will join the cabinet after the election in reserved seats for women. Women can also take charge. The Prime Minister will decide the matter.”

Meanwhile, parliament sources said that the oath of the reserved seat MPs may happen on 27 February as all 50 MPs are going to be elected unopposed on 25 February.

In that case, the cabinet may get new members by the end of the month, according to AL insiders.

Shining BD