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Awami League's senior leader Zillur Rahman to become Bangladesh's next president
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08:51, January 04, 2009

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Bangladesh's major party Awami League(AL), who won a landslide victory in Monday's parliamentary elections, Saturday evening endorsed its senior presidium member Zillur Rahman as the country's next president, AL chairperson Sheikh Hasina said.

Zillur, around 80, will formally be elected as the President by the new members of the country's ninth parliament. Since AL has more than two-third majority in the 300-member parliament, he will be passed by overwhelming votes.

Hasina, expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister on Tuesday, told reporters here that her AL parliamentary party at a meeting Saturday evening endorsed Zillur as the next president.

"He is a senior member of our party. It's recognition of his long contribution," Hasina told reporters in the parliament building after the meeting.

Zillur is going to be the next President of Bangladesh, replacing incumbent President Iajuddin Ahmed who has already met his five-year term.

Zillur was minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives in 1996-2001 under the AL government led by prime minister Hasina.

Zillur's election to the office of the President is expected tobe held at the first session of the new parliament later this month.

Earlier, AL parliamentary party in the meeting elected Hasina as the Leader of the House (parliament) while Zillur was made the Deputy Leader, after the 259 MPs of the AL-led 15-party grand alliance took oath in the afternoon.

As per rules, Hasina after being elected as the Leader of the House will request the President Iajuddin Ahmed to swear-in her new cabinet.

President Iajuddin Ahmed will administer the oath of office to members of the new cabinet to be headed by Hasina as Prime Minister Tuesday evening, an official of the President House said.

Hasina's AL won 230 seats out of all 300 in the country's ninth parliamentary elections held on Monday, more than enough to form anew government. Her arch rival, former prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party got only 29 seats.


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