Bangladesh's President Takes Over Caretaker Gov't

Bangladesh's president was installed as head of the country's caretaker government on Sunday, but it was unclear whether the development would end a political standoff that sparked days of deadly riots in the streets of the capital.

President Iajuddin Ahmed takes over from outgoing Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, whose government completed its five-year term on Friday and was constitutionally required to transfer power to an interim administration.

Bangladesh's opposition, which launched the protests that left 18 people dead and hundreds injured, had demanded a nonpartisan leader and had said previously Ahmed — who was elected as a candidate of Zia's party — was an unacceptable choice. Ahmed will continue to act as the country's titular president.

The opposition also rejected an earlier choice as interim leader, retired Chief Justice K.M. Hasan, saying he was too close the government.

Opposition protesters had accused the outgoing administration of trying to rig the elections, and while Zia attended the swearing-in ceremony at the president's office, the main opposition leader Sheikh Hasina did not.