[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
New Bangladesh PM sworn in
Hasina vows to put an end to confrontational politics.
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2009 22:43 GMT
Sheikh Hasina's Awami League front won a landslide victory in general elections last week [AFP]

Sheikh Hasina Wajed has been sworn in as Bangladesh's prime minister, a democratic move in the impoverished country after almost two years of rule by an army-backed regime.

President Iajuddin Ahmed gave the oath at the presidential palace in the capital Dhaka on Tuesday.

Sheikh Hasina's Awami League front won a landslide victory in general elections last week that were hailed as "free and fair" by independent observers.

General Moeen U. Ahmed, the army chief and Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, joined some 1,000 foreign diplomats, government officials and members of parliament at the ceremony.

Campaigning and voting for the elections was generally peaceful,  in marked contrast to the unrest that caused polls to be cancelled  in 2007, when at least 35 people died in violence over allegations  of vote rigging.

Collective work

The Awami League front won 230 seats out of a possible 300, giving her a clear majority to govern without forming a coalition.

However the new prime minister, who also ruled between 1996 and 2001, has indicated she wants to end the confrontational politics that has paralysed Bangladeshi politics for decades.

"I feel in the parliamentary system we can work together. I am ready to work with everyone," she said following her victory.

Both Hasina and her bitter rival Khaleda Zia, who is also an  ex-premier and leads the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), were  jailed for a year by the outgoing army-backed government on  corruption charges.

After initially rejecting the election results, Zia said she  would work with Sheikh Hasina -- though she stood by allegations of  voter fraud and snubbed Tuesday's ceremony.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.