Prime Minister

Prime Minister constitutionally executive head of government under the 12th Amendment of the constitution. Prior to the amendment, a Presidential system was in force in the country between 1975 and 1991 and a Parliamentary system between 1972 and 1975. According to Articles 55 and 56 of the Constitution, the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers is headed by the Prime Minister and comprises such other ministers, state and deputy ministers as the Prime Minister may determine from time to time. The cabinet is collectively responsible to the jatiya sangsad.

Article 56 of the Constitution provides that not less than nine-tenths of the cabinet shall be appointed from among the members of the Jatiya Sangsad and not more than one-tenth from among persons qualified for election as members of the Sangsad. The Prime Minister can also appoint Advisers to the Prime Minister in accordance with 'Rules of Business' of Government of Bangladesh. The President appoints as Prime Minister the member of the Sangsad who appears to him to command the support of a majority of members of the Sangsad.

Table Prime Ministers of Bangladesh.

Name Tenure
Tajuddin Ahmed 17 April 1971-12 January 1972
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 12 January 1972-26 January 1975
M Mansur Ali 26 January 1975-15 August 1975
Shah Azizur Rahman 15 April 1979-24 March 1982
Ataur Rahman Khan 30 March 1984-9 July 1986
Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury 9 July 1986-27 March 1988
Moudud Ahmed 27 March 1988-12 August 1989
Kazi Zafar Ahmed 12 August 1989-6 December 1990
Begum Khaleda Zia 20 March 1991-30 March 1996
Sheikh Hasina 23 June 1996 -15 July 2001
Begum Khaleda Zia 10 October 2001-29 October 2006
Sheikh Hasina 6 January 2009 -

Article 57 of the Constitution provides that the office of the Prime Minister shall be vacant if he/she resigns from office at any time by placing his/her resignation to the President, or if he/she ceases to be a member of Jatiya Sangsad. If the Prime Minister ceases to retain the support of a majority of the members of Sangsad, he/she shall either resign his/her office or advise the President in writing to dissolve the Sangsad.

Provision of a Non-party caretaker government for a 3 months period headed by a Chief Adviser for holding parliamentary elections in the country has been incorporated in the Constitution through the Constitution (Thirteenth Amendment) Act of 1996. The executive power of the state vests with the Chief Adviser during the tenure of the Caretaker Government and he/she in turn remains accountable to the President. [Helal Uddin Ahmed]