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DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - Bangladesh's figurehead president, Zillur Rahman, died Wednesday at a hospital in Singapore. He was 84.
Rahman was a top leader of the ruling Awami League party before Parliament elected him president in 2009.
He was flown to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital on March 10 for treatment of respiratory problems. His body will be flown back to Dhaka on Thursday, the president's office said.
The government declared three days of mourning starting Thursday.
Rahman's death does not affect the government since Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy, with the prime minister holding executive powers.
The president's office said parliamentary speaker Abdul Hamid will be acting president until the legislature elects a new president.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina offered her condolences and described Rahman as a patriotic leader.
Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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