Abdul Hamid sworn in Bangladesh’s new president

Dhaka, April 24 (IANS) Elected unopposed, Abudl Hamid was sworn in as Bangladesh’s new president Wednesday evening at the Bangabhaban presidential palace.

The 69-year-old was elected unopposed Monday as he was the lone candidate, Xinhua reported.

The veteran politician was sworn in by acting Speaker Swakat Ali, the post Hamid vacated in the absence of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party(BNP) led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

A lawyer by profession, Hamid became the acting president March 14 after late president Zillur Rahman fell sick and was flown to Singapore for treatment.

Hamid became president at a crucial time when Bangladesh has been reeling under a violent political stand-off between the ruling and the opposition parties over restoration of a non-party caretaker government system to oversee the next general elections slated for early 2014.

Analysts say the new Bangladesh president will also have to handle a tumultuous political situation ahead of the next general polls, as the ruling Awami League and the main opposition Bangladeshi Nationalist Party (BNP) are currently at loggerheads over the mode of the poll-time government.

According to the constitution, the president shall hold office for a term of five years from the date of his joining office.

Hamid, a war hero, was elected member of Bangladesh Parliament six times, in 1973, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2008, respectively.

The veteran politician was also elected as a member of parliament in the 1970 national elections when Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan.

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