Sheikh Hasina is back as Bangladesh's prime minister for a record fourth term today following the landslide victory of her Awami League in the December 30 election.
Hasina's ruling alliance won more than 90 per cent of the seats contested in the election. Though allegations marred the polls, the 71-year-old leader and her Awami League party have dismissed the accusations. On Thursday, she was selected as the leader of the House for the fourth time. Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh's founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is termed by many as the country's iron lady.
She is the longest serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh. Her political career has spanned more than four decades. She previously served as opposition leader from 1986 to 1990 and from 1991 to 1995, as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001, and has been leading the Bangladesh Awami League since 1981. In 2008, she returned as Prime Minister with a landslide victory. In January 2014, she became Prime Minister for a third term in an unopposed election, in an election boycotted by the opposition and criticised by international observers. She won a fourth term in December 2018, following an election marred with violence and criticised by the opposition as being rigged.
Hasina is considered one of the most powerful women in the world, ranking 26th on Forbes' list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2018 and 30th in 2017. She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers.