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Bangladesh's ruling coalition names presidential candidate

English.news.cn   2013-04-21 18:14:13            

By Naim-Ul-Karim

DHAKA, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's ruling coalition has named Speaker of the National Assembly Abdul Hamid as its candidate for the post of the country's president, a highly placed source told Xinhua Sunday.

According to the source, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) party decided to the nomination in a meeting of its parliamentarians on Sunday morning.

Hours after the meeting, a senior AL leader collected a nomination paper for Hamid for the post of the President of People 's Republic of Bangladesh.

"We've on behalf of ruling coalition collected the nomination paper from a senior official of the Election Commission in capital Dhaka," said a senior AL leader who preferred to be unnamed.

He said, "The nomination paper will be submitted to the Election Commission as per the poll schedule."

In line with the polls schedule announced on April 9, the aspirants will have to submit their nomination papers on April 21 and the deadline for withdrawal of the nomination papers has been set on April 24.

The presidential election of Bangladesh will be held on April 29.

The post fell vacant following the death of President Zillur Rahman on March 20 at the Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore, where he was undergoing medical treatment.

Since then, Hamid was made the acting president.

After parliamentary democracy was introduced in the South Asian country, the lawmakers only once voted and elected president in 1991 as there were more than one candidates for the post.

But later the trend changed and the ruling party candidates have always been elected uncontested as president.

Now the ruling AL party, led by Prime Minister Hasina, has the two-thirds majority in the 300-seat elected parliament. Bangladeshi parliament has 50 reserved seats for women.

Against this backdrop, analysts say there is every chance for Hamid to become Bangladesh President, though there is another candidate to contest with him for the post, which is said to be a ceremonial one and does not exercise any control over the running of the state.

But president's role becomes more important after the term of the government has finished, when his executive authority is enhanced as laid down in the constitution of the country.

The new Bangladesh president will also have to handle a tumultuous political situation ahead of the next general polls slated for early 2014, as the ruling AL 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.

It is widely believed that a veteran politician like Hamid could really help the ruling and the opposition parties to reach consensus on disputed issues including poll time government.

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

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

Editor: Fang Yang
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