Bowing to pressure from the Awami League-led major alliance, President Iajuddin Ahmed on Thursday stepped down as head of Bangladesh's interim government soon after declaring a state of emergency ahead of the controversial general elections on January 22.
The president's move came after he also imposed night curfew in the country as violence loomed in the wake of the decision by the alliance led by Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina to stay away from the elections and organise nation-wide street protests to press for the removal of Ahmed as head of the interim government to ensure free and fair polls.
All nine other advisors of the 10-member interim government also tendered their resignations, a presidential palace spokesperson said.
"The senior most advisor of the advisory council, Justice Mohammad Fazlul Haque, has taken charge as the acting chief advisor," he said.
The spokesman said Ahmed was expected to constitute a new advisory council. Until then, Haque would discharge the duties of the head of the interim government.
The fast-paced developments came a day after over 60,000 army and paramilitary forces were deployed across the country to maintain law and order and aid the civil administration in the smooth conduct of elections.
The country's eight private television stations suspended news broadcasts following the declaration of emergency and were asked by the information ministry to relay bulletins from state-run