Bangladesh’s Ershad, opposition leader and former army ruler, dies at 90

As army chief of staff, Ershad seized power in a bloodless coup on April 24, 1982, overthrowing then president Abdus Sattar, and declared himself president in 1983.

Bangladesh’s former army ruler Hussain Mohammad Ershad (Photo: Reuters

The former military ruler of Bangladesh, Hussain Muhammad Ershad, died on Sunday aged 90, following age-related health complications, an aide said.

The opposition leader in parliament when he died, Ershad had been on life support for 10 days in a military hospital in the capital Dhaka, with liver and kidney functions impaired, his political and press secretary said.

“He died today morning after suffering for about three weeks,” the secretary, Sunil Shuva Roy, told reporters.

As army chief of staff, Ershad seized power in a bloodless coup on April 24, 1982, overthrowing then president Abdus Sattar, and declared himself president in 1983.

He ruled until forced to step down by a mass uprising in 1990. Ershad was chairman of the main opposition party in the current parliament, the Bangladesh Jatiya Party, which he founded in 1985.