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Feb 11, 2009 at 08:01pm IST

Rahman declared new President of Bangladesh

Dhaka: Veteran Awami League leader Zillur Rahman, a close aide to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was on Wednesday declared as the country's new President by the Election Commission, more than a month after his party swept the landmark General Elections.

The 79-year-old Rahman, nominee of the Awami League, was the lone candidate for presidency after the expiry of the last date for nomination paper withdrawal on Wednesday.

NEW MAN: The swearing-in ceremony of the new President would be held on Thursday.

"Mohammad Zillur Rahman has been elected the President of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh under Clause 7 of the President Election Act 1991," Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said in an announcement.

He said Rahman was declared the country's 19th President as his nomination was found valid and no other candidate filed his papers for the presidency.

Meanwhile, Bangabhaban presidential palace officials said the swearing-in ceremony of the new President would be held on Thursday at 1900 hrs local time at the Darbar Hall, where Chief Justice M Ruhum Amin would administer the oath of office to him.

Rahman, who succeeds Iajuddin Ahmed, expressed his desire to work neutrally for the welfare of his countrymen.

"I will work for the people neutrally, even though I will be away from active politics," Rahman, who joined politics in his student life, said at his residence.

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