WORLD : Ershad Resigns in Bangladesh

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

President Hussain Mohammed Ershad resigned today after ruling the country for eight years, handing power to an interim leader chosen by the opposition.

Ershad, a former army general who took power in a 1982 coup, had faced seven weeks of often violent nationwide protests against his government.

On Tuesday, he promised to step down as soon as a replacement was named. Earlier today, Ershad lifted the state of emergency in effect since Nov. 27.

Later, he administered the oath of office to Supreme Court Chief Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed, a political independent nominated by the country’s opposition parties as caretaker vice president. Then he signed a letter of resignation, making him acting president.