Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Key dates in Hasina's career

In exactly two hours time, Hasina will take oath as Bangladesh's new prime minister, for the second time. Courtesy of AFP, Here are key dates in her career:
- December 16, 1971: Awami League party leader and Sheikh Hasina's father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman -- detained by Pakistan during the country's independence war -- is named first president while still in jail, and after his release in early 1972 also takes up post of prime minister.
- August 15, 1975: Sheikh Mujib and more than a dozen others, including his wife, are shot dead in the family home as part of a military coup. His two daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, are abroad at the time and are offered asylum in India and Britain.
- May 17, 1981: Sheikh Hasina returns to Bangladesh as Awami League party leader.
- December 6, 1990: Arch rivals Skeikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), join forces to oust military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad after a people's revolt.
- February 27, 1991: Democracy is restored and Zia elected Bangladesh's first female prime minister, narrowly beating Sheikh Hasina.
- June 12, 1996: Sheikh Hasina elected prime minister for a five-year term after a narrow victory over Zia.
- October 1, 2001: Zia again elected prime minister with landslide margin amid allegations by Sheikh Hasina of vote rigging.
- January 11, 2007: President Iajuddin Ahmed declares a state of emergency, bans political activity and cancels elections after months of political violence. An interim government, backed by the army, takes over soon after.
- March 15: Sheikh Hasina leaves for the US, denying she has been exiled.
- April 11: Government puts Zia under house arrest. Sheikh Hasina charged with the murder of four people during the violence in the lead-up to the cancelled elections.
- May 7: Sheikh Hasina returns home, welcomed by thousands.
- July 16: Sheikh Hasina is arrested on corruption and murder charges.
- September 3: Zia is arrested on graft charges.
- January 30, 2008: Sheikh Hasina's corruption trial begins, but is later adjourned.
- June 11: Sheikh Hasina is freed, though charges against her remain, in a deal to ensure her party takes part in elections.
- September 11: Zia is released from jail with charges still in place.
- December 29: Elections held, in which Sheikh Hasina's Awami League wins a landslide victory with 230 out of a possible 300 seats, while Zia's BNP gets only 29.
- January 5: One extortion charge against Sheikh Hasina dropped. Ten others remain in place, including a murder charge.

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