Dhaka: Veteran politician and parliamentarian Abdul Hamid was on Wednesday sworn in as Bangladesh's 20th president. Hamid was administered the oath of office by acting speaker Shawkat Ali during a ceremony at the Bangabhaban presidential palace, two days after he was elected unopposed to the post.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was among the guests who witnessed the ceremony alongside her cabinet colleagues but the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party did not attend the event.
The BNP, led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia has been waging an anti-government street campaign. However, it has not expressed any reservation about Hamid's election. The titular presidency in the country appears to be widely functional just ahead of the general elections due early next year.
The ruling Awami League had nominated the veteran leader for the presidency on April 21. Prior to his election to the post, Hamid was the speaker of the ninth parliament. Sixty nine-year-old Hamid, a long time aide to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, had been the Acting President of the country since his predecessor Zillur Rahman died on March 20 in a Singapore hospital.
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 became the acting president on March 14 in accordance with the constitution after President Rahman fell sick and was flown to Singapore for treatment.