History of Government of Bangladesh since independence
Bangladesh’s initial government was formed in January 1972 under the leadership of Sk. Mujibur Rahman, who became prime minister.
In early 1975 Mujibur Rahman became president under a remodeled constitution that granted him virtually dictatorial power. He immediately implemented a one-party system that allowed only his newly formed party, the Bangladesh Krishak-Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL), to participate in government. He was unable to stabilize the political situation, however, and was killed in a military coup on August 15, 1975.
In November, 1975 Khandakar Mushtaque Ahmed initiated martial law, and installed Abu Sadat Muhammad Sayem as president. General Ziaur Rahman assumed the presidency when Sayem resigned in 1977. Martial law was lifted in 1979, following parliamentary elections in which a party that formed to support Zia, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, gained a majority.
President Zia was assassinated in May. He was succeeded by Vice President Abdus Sattar. However, a military coup in 1982 brought Lieutenant General Hossain Mohammad Ershad to power.
Ershad immediately proclaimed martial law. Ershad allowed limited political activities to resume, and his supporters formed the Jatiya Party. Two major oppositions Awami League the BNP formed alliance. The two parties joined in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy
In March 1986 Ershad eased martial law. Parliamentary elections were finally held in May. Ershad proceeded with plans for a presidential election in October. Opposition parties, including the Awami League, boycotted the election. Ershad won a five-year term with more than 80 percent of the vote.
New elections were held in 1988 with both the BNP and the Awami League boycotting. In consequence, the Jatiya Party won a landslide victory.
On demand of BNP and AL, Ershad was forced to resign in December 1990.
General elections were held in February 1991 under acting President Sahabuddin Ahmed. The BNP won a plurality of the seats. BNP leader Zia became prime minister. An amendment to the constitution made the Prime Minister Head of government, and the president of Bangladesh became chief of state with largely ceremonial duties.
In May 1994 opposition parties began a series of boycotts of parliament. The Awami League-led opposition demanded that future elections be held under a neutral caretaker government. In December opposition members in parliament resigned to force new elections. They organized a series of violent strikes in 1995.
The opposition parties refused to recognize the election results and called a general strike, which strained Bangladesh’s economy. After a constitutional amendment to provide for a neutral caretaker government, she resigned in March.
In new election held under the supervision of the caretaker government the Awami League won the most seats and, forming a coalition with the Jatiya Party, gained a majority in parliament. Sheikh Hasina was named prime minister
In the October elections the Awami League was soundly defeated as the BNP-led coalition won more than two-thirds of the parliamentary seats. Zia became prime minister a second time.