The race to the Bangabhaban is not going to be the marathon one, neither it was thought to be — at the end of a brief process it is acting President Abdul Hamid who is going to adorn the highest office of the country.
Abdul Hamid, the lone candidate for the presidency, is deemed to be the 20th President of Bangladesh to be elected unopposed subject to the validity of his candidature before the Election Commission to be scrutinised Monday.
On April 9, the EC announced the schedule for the President election as the post fell vacant due to the demise of President M Zillur Rahman recently.
Awami League Parliamentary Party (ALPP) on Sunday nominated Hamid as an Awami League candidate to contest the president election slated for April 29.
Later in the day, a delegation of ruling Awami League on behalf of Abdul Hamid collected nomination papers from the Election Commission at noon and submitted the papers to the commission at 3 pm.
Earlier, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad had distributed four nomination papers to the AL delegation and received three at 4 pm, the deadline for submitting the papers. But all the nomination papers were submitted for only one candidate.
The election officials will scrutinise the nomination papers on Monday. The deadline for withdrawal of candidature is April 24.
Talking to reporters after submitting nomination papers, AL stalwart Tofail Ahmed said Abdul Hamid will be elected the country’s 20th President uncontested as per the rule if there is no other candidate after scrutinising the nomination papers tomorrow (Monday).
Since there will be no voting by the members of parliament as there is no other candidate vying for the post of the President, the EC Secretariat will now publish a gazette notification in this regard confirming the presidency of Abdul Hamid.
The next course of action remains the oath taking ceremony at Bangabhaban which will be administered by Chief Justice M Muzammel Hossain at convenient date and time.
Born in 1944 in Kishoreganj, Hamid was elected MP from Itna-Mithamain-Ashtagram for the 7th time, bearing the testimony of his popularity as a public figure.
Hamid, also a veteran politician, discharged his functions as parliament Speaker twice.
On March 20, President Zillur Rahman passed away at a Singapore hospital while undergoing treatment.
Zillur Rahman, one of the country’s most revered politicians, took over as the 19th President in 2009 after the Awami League-led grand alliance assumed office through a landslide victory in the December 2008 general election.
Since March 14, Speaker Abdul Hamid has been discharging as acting President as per the Constitution.