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Bangladesh: Council of Ministers
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > Structure of Government > Executive > Council of Ministers


The president administers the country through the Council of Ministers -- the cabinet -- which is headed by the prime minister, a presidential appointee. Up to one-fifth of the members of the cabinet may be persons from outside Parliament, allowing experts to participate in the administration of the country, and the president may attract influential politicians to his party by offering them prestigious ministerial posts. The number of ministers in the cabinet has therefore varied over time, according to presidential political strategies. There were nineteen ministers in the 1982 cabinet of President Abdul Fazal Muhammad Ahsanuddin Chowdhury, but by mid-1988 Ershad had increased the number to twenty-eight. Variations in the number of ministries do not signify the creation or cancelation of government programs but simply the reclassification of government services. For example, in 1982 finance and planning programs were administered by a single ministry with two divisions, but in 1988 a separate ministry was created for each. Ministerial secretaries have often wielded a great deal of power because they are experienced and have numerous personal contacts in their fields, whereas ministers are typically professional politicians who hold office only for a short time.

Data as of September 1988

Last Updated: September 1988

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Bangladesh was first published in 1989. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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