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Sheikh Hasina(1996-2001)

Sheikh Hasina was born in 1947 in the Gopalganj district, the eldest daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was President of the newly created People's Republic of Bangladesh when he was assassinated in 1975. Sheikh Hasina studied at the University of Dhaka and was involved in student politics. At the time of the Liberation War of 1971, she was was elected Prime Minister of Bangladesh in June 1996.

Sheikh Hasina escaped being killed along with her father, mother and three brothers in August 1975 as she was on a visit to West Germany at the time. She did not return to Bangladesh for six years and was elected President of her father's party, the Awami League, shortly before she did return in 1981. She constantly spoke out against military rule and was placed under house arrest a number of times.

In 1986, Sheikh Hasina stood for Parliament and became Leader of the Opposition from where she continued to campaign against military rule. The military government stepped down in 1990 but in the 1991 elections for a civilian government, the Awami League was narrowly defeated. However she led her party to victory in the 1996 general elections. Under her leadership, the Awami League government was the first government to complete a full 5 year tenure. The 2001 elections saw Awami League losing the elections and once again becoming the largest opposition party.

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