Hasina hints at retirement after present term

Staff Correspondent

15 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has hinted at her going into retirement from politics after the present term of her government.

“It’s a third consecutive term and before that I was prime minister [1996-2001], so it’s my fourth term in office. I don’t want to continue further. I think everybody should take a break, so we can accommodate the young generation,” she said.

The premier expressed the view in an exclusive interview with Deutsche Welle (DW), a public international broadcaster of Germany.

The interview was conducted by DW editor-in-chief Ines Pohl and its Asia department head Debarati Guha in Dhaka on February 9.

Bangladesh’s graduation from the least developed country (LDC) to a developing one during Sheikh Hasina’s previous term.

Over the past several years, the economy has been growing 6 to 7 percent annually and trade volume has multiplied and foreign investment increased.

Sheikh Hasina says the fight against poverty will remain the first priority during her current tenure.

“Food security, housing, education, healthcare, job opportunities are basic needs,” she said.

“Definitely, every human being wants a better life… We have to insure that,” she added.

About scope for freedom of expression during her tenure, the premier said she supported freedom of thought.

“If you work more, you will face more criticism,” she said, adding, “You should ask my people whether they are satisfied or not.”

Replying to a query, Sheikh Hasina said opposition parties were weak. “If any particular party can’t reach people’s minds, it can’t get their trust and doesn’t get votes, then whose responsibility is this? This actually portrays their weakness,” she told DW.