conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh.
conventional short form: Bangladesh.
Administrative divisions: 8 divisions; Barisal, Chattogram, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Mymenshing, Rangpur & Sylhet.
Independence: 26 March 1971 (from Pakistan).
National holiday: Independence Day - 26 March (1971), 16 December 1971 is Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh, 21st February and more.
Constitution: 4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972, suspended following coup of 24 March 1982, restored 10 November 1986, amended many times.
Legal system: based on English common law.
Chief of state: President Prof. Iazuddin Ahmad; note - the president's duties are normally ceremonial, but with the 13th amendment to the constitution ("Caretaker Government Amendment"), the president's role becomes significant at times when Parliament is dissolved and a caretaker government is installed - at presidential direction - to supervise the elections
head of government:Prime Minister Khaleda ZIA (since 10 October 2001).
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president.
elections: President elected by National Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 1 October 2001 (next to be held by NA October 2006); following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually appointed prime minister by the president.
election results: Prof. Iazuddin Ahmad elected president without opposition.
Legislative branch: Unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies (the constitutional amendment reserving 30 seats for women over and above the 300 regular parliament seats expired in May 2001); members serve five-year terms.
elections: last held 1 October 2001 (next to be held before October 2006).
election results: Percent of vote by party - BNP and alliance partners 46%, AL 42%; seats by party - BNP 201, AL 62, JI 18, JP (Ershad faction) 14, IOJ 2, JP (Naziur) 1, other 4; note - the election of October 2001 brought a majority BNP government aligned with three other smaller parties - Jamaat-i-Islami, Islami Oikya Jote, and Jatiya Party (Naziur).
Judicial branch: Supreme Court, the Chief Justices and other judges are appointed by the president.
Political parties: Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP; Awami League or AL; Jatiyo Party or JP; Jamaat-E-Islami or JI; Bangladesh Communist Party or BCP.
International organization participation: ADB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNOMIL, UNPREDEP, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Flag description: green with a large red disk slightly to the hoist side of center; the red sun of freedom represents the blood shed to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush countryside, and secondarily, the traditional color of Islam.