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Zillur Rahman declared as Bangladesh's new President
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19:21, February 11, 2009

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Bangladesh's Election Commission Wednesday declared senior leader of the ruling party Awami League Zillur Rahman as the country's 19th President as he is the only presidential candidate.

Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda made the announcement to the media here as Wednesday is the last date of withdrawal of nomination of presidential candidates, according to the commission's presidential election schedule.

"We have declared him as President since there was no other candidate and we found his nomination lawful after scrutiny," Huda told reporters here after he signed the gazette notification on presidential election which was earlier scheduled on Jan. 16.

Rahman, 80, will be sworn in as the new President on Thursday, replacing incumbent President Iajuddin Ahmed who has already met his five-year term.

Rahman is now the senior presidium member of the ruling party Awami League and performed as acting president of the party after its chief Sheikh Hasina was arrested by the immediate past caretaker government in 2007.

Awami League, which holds 230 seats in the 300-member parliament, on Jan. 3 endorsed Zillur Rahman as the party's presidential candidate after the party won the country's ninth parliamentary elections held on Dec. 29, 2008.

Bangladesh has a parliamentary system of government headed by prime minister while the president is the head of state, a largely ceremonial post elected by the parliament.

President of Awami League Sheikh Hasina became Prime Minister and formed her cabinet on Jan. 6.


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