Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fakhruddin takes over as new Chief Advisor

Advisors to be appointed soon; 4-party absent at oath-taking

Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed, a former governor of the Bangladesh Bank, assumed the office of chief adviser (CA) to the non-party caretaker government yesterday based on a consensus between the two major political alliances, beginning the reconstitution of the interim government. President Iajuddin Ahmed, administered the oath of his successor at a ceremony in Bangabhaban Darbar Hall yesterday. With Dr Fakhruddin's assumption of the office of CA, resignation of Justice Fazlul Haque, who had been acting as the CA following the resignation of Iajuddin, became effective.

The president will now appoint ten advisers in a day or two consulting with the newly appointed CA to complete the reconstitution of the council of advisers to the caretaker government that will initiate a fresh move for holding the next parliamentary election. The Election Commission (EC) yesterday unofficially suspended all activities regarding holding the parliamentary election on January 22. Interestingly, BNP-led four-party alliance which had welcomed Iajuddin's assumption of the office of CA and who had attended his oath taking ceremony on October 29 in Bangabhaban, boycotted yesterday's ceremony of oath taking by the new CA. But, Awami League (AL)-led 14-party coalition and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that had boycotted the oath taking ceremony of Iajuddin as the CA, protesting his 'unconstitutional takeover of the post', attended yesterday's function in Bangabhaban.

Two former chief advisers to caretaker governments Justice Habibur Rahman and Justice Latifur Rahman, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chief Justice Syed JR Mudassir Husain, Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Mahfuzur Rahman, secretaries of different ministries, chiefs of three services of the armed forces, foreign diplomats and other dignitaries also attended the ceremony yesterday evening. Excepting the state run media and a private news agency, journalists were not allowed in Bangabhaban to cover the ceremony. Cabinet Secretary Ali Imam Majumder conducted the oath taking ceremony that lasted ten minutes. Before administering the oath, the president appointed Dr Fakhruddin as the new CA in accordance with the Article 58 (C) of the constitution. Before appointing the new CA, negotiations took place between the two major political alliances to reach a consensus on Dr Fakhruddin.

Profile of new CA

Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed was born in Munshiganj. He obtained the first position in his class (first class first) in both BA (Hons) and MA from the Department of Economics in Dhaka University in 1960 and 1961. He received another master's degree in Development Economics from Williams College, USA and the Doctorate Degree in Economics from Princeton University.

He started his career as a lecturer of Economics in Dhaka University. Later, he joined the civil service of Pakistan. He served the government until 1978 when he joined the World Bank where he served until 2001. He joined as the governor of Bangladesh Bank in 2001 and his contract expired on April 30, 2005.He has been the managing director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), country's apex micro-finance organisation, since June 1, 2005.