President: Abdul Hamid
Abdul Hamid was elected unopposed as Bangladesh's president in April 2013, following the death in March of President Zillur Rahman after a long illness.
Mr Hamid, speaker of parliament since 2009, was serving as acting president in the largely ceremonial post when MPs chose him to succeed Mr Rahman.
The 69-year-old is a veteran of the governing Awami League and a long-standing aide to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
President Hamid is said to have good ties with opposition parties, and this could prove crucial in breaking a deadlock between the main parties over the next general election due by January 2014.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party party has threatened to boycott the polls if they are not held under a neutral caretaker government, a demand rejected by the government of Sheikh Hasina.
Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina Wajed
Sheikh Hasina became Bangladesh's prime minister for the second time in January 2009.
In general elections in December 2008, her centre-left Awami League won a crushing victory over the centre-right Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by her long-time political foe, Begum Khaleda Zia.
The Awami League-led alliance won more than 250 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia - both former prime ministers - had been jailed for suspected corruption but were released to contest the vote.
The election marked a return to the usual two-party politics after the state of emergency imposed in January 2007, despite the army-backed caretaker government's attempts to break the mould and encourage a third political force.
Only a few months after her election, the new prime minister faced a serious crisis when hundreds hundreds of border guards mutinied in Dhaka. The mutineers killed 74 people, mainly army officers, before the government succeeded in suppressing the rebellion.Rivalry
Politics in Bangladesh has long been dominated by the bitter rivalry between the two women.
Hasina was previously prime minister from 1996 to 2001, while Khaleda was in power between 1991 and 1996 and again from 2001 to October 2006, when she handed over power to a caretaker administration ahead of elections.
The hostility between the women stems in part from differences over who played a greater role in the country's independence struggle - Hasina's father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, or Khaleda's husband, General Ziaur Rahman.
Khaleda and Hasina sank their differences when military ruler Hossain Mohammad Ershad was in power from 1982 to 1990, but their alliance ended with Ershad's departure and they have been uncompromising rivals ever since.
Hasina accuses Khaleda's BNP and its Islamic allies with links to outlawed Islamist groups blamed for a series of bomb attacks in 2007. Khaleda says Hasina's statements amounted to treason.
Hasina escaped an assassination attempt in August 2004 when grenades exploded at a rally she was addressing as opposition leader. Twenty-three people were killed in the attack, which the Awami League blamed on the governing parties.