Veteran leader of the ruling Awami League Zillur Rahman is poised to be declared the next president of Bangladesh, with no other nomination paper being filed for the presidential poll scheduled on Feb 16. Awami League (AL) chief whip Abdus Shahid filed Rahman's nomination with the returning officer (RO) on Sunday, The Daily Star reported on Monday.
"Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda, who is the RO for the presidential election, received only one application as of 4 pm on Sunday, the last date for filing nominations. He will scrutinise the application on Monday," the report said.
Rahman, 79, is the seniormost member of ruling AL presidium and is currently the deputy leader of the house in parliament.
He played a vital role in keeping the party united in the absence of Sheikh Hasina, the party chief and now the country's prime minister, during the two years of army-backed government (2006-08). Hasina was then in jail and later went to the US for medical treatment last year.
Rahman was in the thick of the freedom movement in 1971. His wife, Ivy Rahman, also a senior AL leader, was killed in a grenade attack at a rally in August 2004.
Rahman will replace President Iajuddin Ahmed, whose term ended last year. But the presidential election could not be held as there was no parliament.
Bangladesh has adopted Westminster-style parliamentary democracy in which the president is the symbolic head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces who performs mostly ceremonial functions.