(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) — Legislators elected Pakistan’s first female speaker of parliament Wednesday, seating a follower — and lookalike — of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Fehmida Mirza’s elevation reflected the air of liberalism blowing through the country’s politics since voters delivered a resounding defeat to backers of President Pervez Musharraf, the former general who has been a close U.S. ally.
However, many Pakistanis are warily watching the victorious elitist parties, worried over whether politicians whose civilian governments in the 1990s were tainted by corruption and ineptitude will be able to deal with Islamic militants and economic hardships.
In a first sign of trouble, the new leaders are struggling to agree on who should be prime minister. There was less of a problem in picking the speaker.