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The Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ আওয়ামী লীগ; translated from Urdu: Bangladesh People's League), often simply called the Awami League or AL, is one of the two major political parties of Bangladesh. It is the country's current governing party, after winning a majority in the 2014 parliamentary elections which was criticised by Western actors. The All Pakistan Awami Muslim League was founded in Dhaka, the capital of the Pakistani province of East Bengal, in 1949 by Bengali nationalists Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, Shawkat Ali, Yar Mohammad Khan, Shamsul Huq, and joined later Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who went on to become Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Pakistan Awami Muslim League was established as the Bengali alternative to the domination of the Muslim League in Pakistan and over centralisation of the government. The party quickly gained massive popular support in East Bengal, later named East Pakistan, and eventually led the forces of Bengali nationalism in the struggle against West Pakistan's military and political establishment. The party under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, led the struggle for independence, first through massive populist and civil disobedience movements, such as the Six Point Movement and 1971 Non-Cooperation Movement, and then during the Bangladesh Liberation War. After the emergence of independent Bangladesh, the Awami League won the first general elections in 1973 but was overthrown in 1975 after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The party was forced by subsequent military regimes onto the political sidelines and many of its senior leaders and activists were executed and jailed. After the restoration of democracy in 1990, the Awami League emerged as one of the principal players of Bangladeshi politics. Amongst the leaders of the Awami League, five have become the President of Bangladesh, four have become the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and one became the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The incumbent Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, has headed the party since 1981.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ জাতীয়তাবাদী দল, transliterated: Bangladesh Jātīẏatābādī Dôl), always abbreviated as BNP, is one of the two major contemporary political parties of Bangladesh. It was founded on 1 September 1978 by former Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman after the Presidential election of 1978, with a view to uniting the people with nationalist ideology of the country. Since then, the BNP won the second, fifth, sixth and eighth national elections and two Presidential elections in 1978 and 1981. The party also holds the record of being the largest opposition in the history of parliamentary elections of the country, with 116 seats in the seventh national election of 1996. It does not currently have representation in parliament after its boycott the national election of 2014 in Bangladesh .
The party was established by a retired army officer, Hussain Mohammad Ershad on 1 January 1986. He was the Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh Army. He had seized power through a coup d'état on 24 March 1982. He ruled the country as chief martial law administrator till December 1983. Politics was banned during the state of emergency imposed by Ershad, when Justice A. F. M. Ahsanuddin Chowdhury was appointed President of Bangladesh. The Janadal Party was formed under the leadership of A. F. M. Ahsanuddin Chowdhury, through Ershads declaration of the 19-point programme on 17 March 1983. Chowdhury announced the formation of Janadal on 27 November 1983. Chowdhury was the convenor and MA Matin as general secretary. When Ershad became president, Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury was named chairman and Riazuddin Ahmed (Bhola Miah) the general secretary. Ershad formed a second political party, Jatiya Front, under the Bangladesh Nationalist Party politician Shah Azizur Rahman, with members of Janadal and Muslim League, the Ganatantri Dal, United Peoples Party. Brothers Moudud Ahmed, and Anwar Hossain Manju joined Jatiya Front. The front was dissolved in six months and a new political party called Jatiya Party was formed on 1 January 1986 with Ershad as its chairman.
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