The opposition Wednesday selected the chief justice of the Supreme Court to head a caretaker government, meeting President Hussain Muhammad Ershad's condition for resigning.

Thousands of people poured into the streets to celebrate Ershad's dramatic resignation announcement Tuesday night. Several thousand people assembled at Dhaka airport demanding that authorities prevent Ershad or other government officials from fleeing.In Rajshahi, a student leader was killed and two other people were wounded by security guards when they marched on the home of a high-ranking state official.

Ershad, a 60-year-old former army general, capitulated to the opposition's seven-week campaign to oust him and said he would step down as soon as the opposition agreed on a candidate to replace him.

Chief Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed's candidacy was expected to sail through Parliament on Saturday with Ershad's support, said opposition leader Khaleda Zia. Sheik Hasina, another top opposition leader, confirmed the choice.

Jubilant opposition leaders appealed for calm Wednesday. For the first time, speeches by the two women who had led the long struggle to unseat Ershad were broadcast on state-controlled media.

Bangladesh has had nine presidents since it gained independence in 1971, and all have taken over after assassinations or military coups.