Browse the listing below to find government information for Bangladesh, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Bangladesh at its
Bangladesh Country Page.
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 1971, from Pakistan.
Constitution: 1972; amended 1974, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1996.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative--unicameral Parliament (300 members). Judicial--civil court system based on British model.
Administrative subdivisions: Divisions, districts, subdistricts, unions, villages.
Political parties: 30-40 active political parties: largest ones include Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the Awami League, the Jatiya Party and the Jamaat-e-Islam Party.
Suffrage: Universal at age 18.
The president, while chief of state, holds a largely ceremonial post; the real power is held by the prime minister, who is head of government. The president is elected by the legislature (Parliament) every 5 years. The president's normally circumscribed powers are substantially expanded during the tenure of a caretaker government. (Under the 13th Amendment, which the Parliament passed in March 1996, a caretaker government assumes power temporarily to oversee general elections after dissolution of the Parliament.) In the caretaker government, the president has control over the Ministry of Defense, the authority to declare a state of emergency, and the power to dismiss the Chief Adviser and other members of the caretaker government. Once elections have been held and a new government and Parliament are in place, the president's powers and position revert to their largely ceremonial role.
The prime minister is appointed by the president; the prime minister must be a member of Parliament (MP) whom the president feels commands the confidence of the majority of other MPs. The cabinet is composed of ministers selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president. At least 90% of the ministers must be MPs. The other 10% may be non-MP experts or "technocrats" who are not otherwise disqualified from being elected MPs. According to the constitution, the president can dissolve Parliament upon the written request of the prime minister.
The legislature is a unicameral, 300-seat body. Its 300 members are elected by universal suffrage at least every 5 years. The next election is scheduled to take place in late 2006 or in early 2007.
Bangladesh's judiciary is a civil court system based on the British model; the highest court of appeal is the appellate court of the supreme court. At the local government level, the country is divided into divisions, districts, subdistricts, unions, and villages. Local officials are elected at the union level. All larger administrative units are run by members of the civil service.