Veteran Awami League leader Zillur Rahman will be named Bangladesh's next President by the party, which is set to form government after sweeping the December 29 polls, Prime Minister-elect Sheikh Hasina said, setting aside an apparent pre-poll deal reached with key ally HM Ershad.
"The opinion of the Awami League Parliamentary Party (ALPP) is that senior party leader Zillur Rahman will be the next President of the country" when incumbent Iajuddin Ahmed quits, Hasina told reporters on Saturday night after her party MPs were sworn in.
She said Rahman, who is in his early 80s, was chosen as deputy leader of the National Assembly, a position he would quit when he goes to Bangabhaban, the Presidential palace.
"He (Rahman) is a senior member of our party. We want to recognise him first for his long time contribution to our party as well as the political arena of Bangladesh. He has played an important role in all our struggles including the (1952) language movement," Hasina said.
The decision came as a major ally of the Awami League-led grand alliance, Jatiya Party chief and former president H M Ershad, demanded presidency in line with an "understanding" he had reached with Hasina ahead of the earlier postponed polls slated for January 22 last year.
Zillur Rahman to Be Next B'desh President: Hasina
Anisur Rahman, Dhaka
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