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PM: I would rather not downsize Cabinet

  • Published at 07:17 pm October 22nd, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sits with her cabinet members at a press conference in Ganabhaban on Monday, October 22, 2018 Focus Bangla

She has already talked to the leader of the opposition in parliament and asked for her views on this

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said she would prefer not to reduce the size of the Cabinet ahead of the election so as not to disrupt crucial ongoing development projects.

Sheikh Hasina, however, said if the opposition party demands a smaller cabinet then it could be done.

“I don’t know whether it is needed,” she said while addressing a press conference at her official residence Ganabhaban on Monday. 

The press conference was arranged to brief journalists about the outcome of her recent official visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, reported UNB.

The Prime Minister said the existing cabinet is comprised of representatives from all parties having representation in parliament unlike the previous one which was formed only with members of the ruling Awami League.

Hasina also mentioned that she has already talked to the leader of the opposition in parliament and asked for her views on this.

“I told her we will do what you demand. If they want we will downsize the cabinet, and if not, it will remain the same,” she said.

Hasina, also the Awami League president, said the ongoing development projects will get stalled if the cabinet is downsized during the election.

“We have already cleared a number of projects. There will be problems in implementing these projects. You give more than one portfolio to a minister, you cannot be sure whether they will be able to handle all that work,” she told journalists.

Hasina said the government will have to do a lot of work in the coming three months. 

“I do not know whether these works will be hampered or not, there is a problem in this regard.”

The prime minister added that she also had discussions with the president, but she did not elaborate on this.

Hasina said she discussed the matter with the leaders of some countries like Australia, New Zealand, Britain and India where the parliamentary form of democracy is followed.

“They do not change the government during the election. Let’s see what the opposition demands. We will do that if they want...or else it will remain the same,” Hasina said.

Responding to a question about the uncertainty over the upcoming election, the prime minister said the Election Commission is independent and they are taking preparations to hold the election independently.

She questioned the motive of vested groups trying to create uncertainty about the election.

“Their motive is to hamper the democratic process of the country for their personal gains.”

Hasina said her party wants to see a free and fair election.

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