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Bangladesh PM Hasina expands cabinet

Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina added half a dozen new faces to her cabinet on Friday and shuffled other ministers in a bid to improve the government's performance.

world Updated: Jul 31, 2009 16:46 IST

Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina added half a dozen new faces to her cabinet on Friday and shuffled other ministers in a bid to improve the government's performance.

The cabinet expansion was the second since Hasina took office in January. The six new members, which bring to 44 the number in the cabinet including the premier, were sworn in by president Zillur Rahman at his palace.

Political commentators had suggested Hasina's cabinet members were inexperienced.

The premier said the additions were "competent people" who would make the government run more efficiently. The new members, as well as the shuffle of existing members, brought changes to the portfolios of health, primary education, power, water resources and women and children's affairs.

The move came a day after Hasina's ruling Awami League party dropped four party heavyweights from the policymaking presidium.

Political observers said the four were dropped because they sided with the army-backed government, which ruled for two years from January 2007 and jailed Hasina for a year on corruption charges.

Hasina came to power after a landslide win in December 29 elections that democratic rule to the South Asian nation.