Abdul Hamid elected B’desh President uncontested

Dhaka: Bangladesh's veteran politician and parliamentary speaker Abdul Hamid was today elected unopposed as the country's new President, a day after ruling Awami League nominated him for the top post.

"Abdul Hamid was elected uncontested as the 20th President of Bangladesh," Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said on Monday.

69-year-old Hamid, a long time aide to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, turned out to be the only one to have filed his nomination for the top post.

He has been the Acting President of the country since Zillur Rahman died on March 20 in a Singapore hospital. The President's term is for five years.

Hamid has a long 54 years of career in politics and he was first elected as a member of the then national assembly in erstwhile Pakistan when he was only 26 while main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) or none other expressed any reservation about his candidature for the highest office.

"Hamid is a competent candidate (for the presidency)…

we have the confidence that he would discharge the responsibility as the president with all competence," senior Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed told newsmen after filing the nomination papers at the commission yesterday.

The Awami League Parliamentary Party (ALPP) yesterday unanimously nominated Hamid who subsequently gave his consent putting his signature on the nomination papers in presence of party president and Prime Minister Hasina.

Hamid became the acting president on March 14 in accordance with the constitution after President Rahman fell sick and was flown to Singapore for treatment.

Rahman's death required the arrangement for the fresh election to the presidency by parliament within 90 days under the constitutional provisions.

Hamid is still a lawmaker while the EC will need to stage by-elections to his Kishorganj constituency once he took oath as the president relinquishing the parliamentary seat.