As a step towards holding elections within the constitutional timeframe, a multi-party interim government was sworn in on Monday, amid protests by the Opposition.

Three Jatiya Party leaders, two Awami League stalwarts and the chief of the Workers Party have been sworn in as Ministers in the interim Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Jatiya Party of H.M. Ershad also got two State Ministers in the Cabinet.

All eight Ministers, for whom President Abdul Hamid administered oaths, are lawmakers and from the constituents of the Awami League-led grand alliance.

It is not yet clear whether any of the existing 31 Ministers and 19 Ministers of State will be included in the interim Cabinet.

‘A farce’

The BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami led opposition alliance has termed the formation of the interim Cabinet “a farce” and organised black flag demonstrations across the country.

The new Ministers were inducted as per Ms. Hasina’s proposal for an “all-party interim government” to oversee the next election.

She had also invited names from the Opposition BNP to be included in the interim administration. But they refused to join, saying it was a prelude to a ‘one-party election’.