Zillur Rahman sworn in as Bangladesh presidentFebruary 13th, 2009 - 1:06 am ICT by IANS
Dhaka, Feb 12 (DPA) Veteran politician Zillur Rahman was sworn in as president Thursday, more than a month after Bangladesh returned to democracy after two years under a military-backed government.
Chief Justice Ruhul Amin administered the oath to the country’s 19th president at a ceremony in the presidential palace attended by ministers, lawmakers, military officials and members of the diplomatic corps.
Zillur Rahman, a 79-year old Awami League veteran, belatedly replaced Iajuddin Ahmed, whose term expired in September 2007.
Earlier in the day, Zillur resigned from the Awami League, which elected him to parliament and nominated him as presidential candidate. This was required by the constitution.
“It is a matter of pride that he (Zillur Rahman) has become the president … His life is dedicated to the welfare of the people …,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“I will try my best to continue my efforts for the betterment of the people and to see a strong democratic system,” the president told a private television channel in an interview aired beforehand.
Election authorities declared Zillur Rahman president on Wednesday after no candidate stood to challenge him. If there had been another candidate an electoral college of parliamentary deputies would have conducted a vote.
Bangladesh returned to a democratic system early this year, following general elections last Dec 29, which saw an Awami League-led alliance win a sweeping victory.
Under the country’s British-style parliamentary system, the president is the head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces, but mainly performs ceremonial duties.