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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina's successor dilemma, who could be the heir to the staunch political personality?

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reportedly wants her political legacy to pass on to her family. There are a few names doing rounds in the political corridors of Dhaka as Sheikh Hasina could decide to step down after the completion of her fresh term.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina's successor dilemma, who could be the heir to the staunch political personality? avv
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First Published Jan 11, 2024, 3:38 PM IST

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina not only made history in her country but also in the region after winning her fourth consecutive term. The Bangladesh PM took oath on Thursday marking her first day officially of the fresh term. However, questions have been raised over the succession plan as Sheikh Hasina over the completion of the fresh term will be 81.

A dozen Awami League politicians refused to speak on the issue even off record and with anonymity. However, a mid-ranking party leader revealed that Sheikh Hasina doesn't like to talk about the succession plan. No politician in the ruling party is keen on speaking about the future as it has allegedly become a subject of taboo.

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Sheikh Hasina has had a glorious political career spanning over multiple decades. Her political legacy has been one of the biggest in the South Asia region. The leader is likely to pass her baton to a family member rather than an ‘outsider’, revealed people close to the political party. Even in such a case, Sheikh Hasina lacks a strong face from her family who could stand up to her political legacy.

Possible Successors

Sajeeb Wazed Joy

The Bangladesh Prime Minister’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy is one of the most talked about as a possible heir to Sheikh Hasina’s political legacy. Sajeeb Wazed Joy, despite living in the United States, has played a key role in many initiatives and policies of the Bangladesh government. Sajeeb Wazed Joy, according to a senior Awami League leader, doesn't want to join politics but rather wants to stay in the US with his American family.

Sheikh Rehana

Sheikh Rehana is the younger sister of the Bangladesh Prime Minister. She has been close to Sheikh Hasina since the brutal wipeout of her family in 1975. A brutal military coup resulted in the killing of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman and his whole family excluding the two sisters. Sheikh Rehana and Sheikh Hasina luckily survived the wipeout as they were not in the country.

Sheikh Rehana has regularly accompanied the Bangladesh Prime Minister on campaign trail and meetings abroad. The 68-year-old wields power and influence in the political corridors of Dhaka and could be the most likely candidate as the heir to sister Sheikh Hasina. 

Saima Wazed

Saima Wazed is the daughter of Sheikh Hasina who is currently serving as the regional head of South East Asia for the World Health Organization (WHO). The daughter could appeal to young voters of Bangladesh. However, political experts believe that her lack of experience and exposure to Bangladesh politics could work as a barricade.

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