President Md Abdul Hamid yesterday took oath as the head of state for the second consecutive term at a ceremony held at the Bangabhaban.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury administered his oath of office in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, among other dignitaries, at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban.
The ceremony saw Abdul Hamid signing the oath of office after he was sworn in by the Speaker, while the cabinet secretary conducted the function.
Wearing a black Mujib coat and a white panjabi, Hamid along with the Speaker entered the Darbar Hall at 7:38pm.
A military band played ceremonial music at that time.
The president exchanged greetings with guests after he was sworn in.
The premier, her sister Sheikh Rehana and Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad greeted him with flowers. After the oath-taking ceremony, the premier exchanged pleasantries with the invited guests.
A veteran politician and parliamentarian, Abdul Hamid appeared as the country's 21st president, 77 days after the Election Commission declared him elected to the presidency unopposed for the highest office.
This was the first time in the country that any person became the president for the second consecutive term.
He was earlier elected member of parliament for seven times since the country's independence in 1971.
Around 800 distinguished guests including Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, parliamentary opposition leader Raushan Ershad, cabinet members, PM's advisers, and diplomats witnessed the ceremony.
The others, who were present, included the chief election commissioner, Supreme Court judges, senior politicians, distinguished personalities, chiefs of three armed forces, senior civil officers, editors and senior journalists.
According to section 7 of the President Law, 1991, Chief Election Commissioner Nurul Huda, also returning officer of the presidential election, on February 7 declared Abdul Hamid as the 21st President of Bangladesh as no other candidate contended for the post.
Former parliament speaker Hamid was the lone candidate for the post of presidency being the nominee of the ruling Awami League in 2014, while 16 people held the position previously for 19 terms.
Bangabhaban sources said Hamid is the 17th person to serve as the country's president.
The AL on January 31 this year nominated him as its candidate as his five-year tenure was scheduled to expire on April 23.
Hamid took the responsibility of president in-charge on March 14, 2013 when then president Md Zillur Rahman was under treatment in Singapore. After the death of Zillur Rahman on March 20, 2013 in Singapore, he became acting president from that day.
Later, he was elected president uncontested on April 22, 2013.
According to Bangabhaban website, Md Abdul Hamid was born on January 1, 1944 at Kamalpur in Mithamain upazila under Kishoreganj district.
He started his political career in 1959 by joining the then student front Chhatra League. He joined the Awami League at the end of 1969.
He was elected the Speaker in the Ninth Parliament and served office from 2009 to 2013.