Bangladesh presidential election next month

January 13th, 2009 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 13 (IANS) Having just elected a new parliament and installed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government, Bangladesh is scheduled to hold its presidential elections next month, a media report said Tuesday. Chief Election Commissioner A.T.M. Huda announced this after a meeting with the current incumbent Iajuddin Ahmed Monday, the New Age newspaper said.

He added that the poll body would be busy with the upazilla (sub-district) council elections.

Sheikh Hasina has indicated her support for Awami League stalwart Mohammed Zillur Rahman for the post, side-stepping the claim of her political ally former president H.M. Ershad.

Rahman, 79, was the acting chief of the party when Hasina was in jail and went abroad for medical treatment.

Bangladesh follows the Westminster style of government that has a powerful parliament with the president being the constitutional head.

Iajuddin Ahmed took office in 2003 after then prime minister Khaleda Zia forced the incumbent A.Q.M. Badruddozza Chowdhury to step down.

Ahmed’s role became crucial when he appointed himself the Chief Advisor to head a caretaker government in November 2006.

However, he stepped aside in January 2007 amid political chaos that led to the cancellation of the parliamentary election.

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