To form a cabinet will be public’s first litmus test for Sheikh Hasina. To the public, it will be the very morning that will show them the days of next five years. The cabinet has to be a discreet blend of old and young, experience and commitment, patriotism and skill. Politicians, bureaucrats, subject experts and technocrats with clear numeric superiority of elected representatives will create the dynamics of this team for change.
Elected party politicians and patriotic alliance partners should be the first choice to fill vital portfolios like Home, Foreign, Finance, Defense, Industry, Information, Education, Health, Energy, Agriculture, Food etc. Partners of strategic alliance having questionable and vacillating political past should be kept out of the core and may be appointed on less vital portfolios. Ministries like Energy, Environment, Minerals, and Human Rights may go to technocrats and subject experts with proven loyalty to party.
Leaders like Suranjit, Amu, Sheikh Salim, Jalil, Musharaf should be kept out of the cabinet. Matia, Mahiuddin Alamgir, Subid Ali, Abdur Razzak, AK Khandker, Tofael, Nahid, Col Farook, Dipumani, Saber, Hasan Mahmud, Noor, Nanak, Mustafa Jalal should be kept in the cabinet. Across the party line, Menon, Inu should get important portfolio in the cabinet. Among the veterans Latif Siddiqui, Sajeda, Zillur, Muhith should be in the cabinet. Faruk Chowdhury, Tawfiq Elahi, Tawfiq Imam, Zamir Ali should be in the cabinet as technocrat. There should be one minority representation from CHT and minimal or insignificant representation of Ershad. President should be one from the respectable party veteran, not Dr. Yunus in any way.
The cabinet should be slim in size. In upcoming by-elections elements like Hasanat Abdullah, Sheikh Helal, Joynal Hajari, Shamim Osman must not be taken into consideration. Considering poor election result of greater Noakhali and to shore up future support for this government, a vital position in the government should be assigned for a young and bright personality of that region.
Family consideration, regional consideration, kitchen cabinet, influence of inner circle and elite circle must be avoided in construction of this cabinet. Rather a pro-active, futuristic, environment friendly, homogeneous team will navigate this government with utmost clarity, confidence and professionalism. A vibrant progressive image will reflect vision, political philosophy, practices and accountabilities of the government and must be retained through five years tenure.
The press corps of PM office must be a pool of talents with extraordinary linguistic, oratory and debating skill having the capability of building communication bridge with public on the pillars of trust and confidence. Press Secretary must frequently face the press and must update public on progress and predicaments on every issue of governance.
Sheikh Hasina presented nation a vision for change. The nation galvanized historic unity and gave her absolute mandate and responsibility to change the future of our people, of our country. AL did not fail in translating the trust of the people into reality in 1970. AL will not fail the challenge of 2009 to take our nation to prosperity. This is our hope today.
Manirul Islam writes from Canada, He is one of our guest writers.