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Bangladesh Swears in Former Central Bank Governor as New Interim Leader


Bangladesh's President Iajuddin Ahmed has named the country's former central bank governor to succeed him as the chief of the interim administration.

Fakhruddin Ahmed took the oath of office Friday, one day after the president resigned, declared a state of emergency and postponed the January 22 elections.

A new date has not been announced.

Also Friday, the caretaker government lifted a night-time curfew. It was imposed late Thursday to prevent further violent protests that have gripped the nation since late last year.

More than 40 people were killed during a series of blockades and protests organized by a coalition of opposition parties which have demanded electoral reform and the resignation of Mr. Ahmed.

The head of the opposition Awami Alliance, Secretary-General Abdul Jalil, says the party will suspend its protests and cooperate with the new interim administration, if its demands, including a new voter list, are met.

In other news, soldiers detained an opposition politician at his home in Dhaka in a pre-dawn raid. It is not clear why the Awami League lawmaker, Kamal Ahmed Majumder, was arrested.

The Awami League leads an opposition alliance of 18 parties, which accused the caretaker government and electoral commission of rigging the polls in favor of the former ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

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