Archive for the ‘Fehmida Mirza’ Category

Pakistan Elects 1st Female Speaker

March 20, 2008

(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) — Legislators elected Pakistan’s first female speaker of parliament Wednesday, seating a follower — and lookalike — of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Newly elected speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly Fehmida ...
Newly elected speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Fehmida Mirza presides over a session after her election at Parliament House in Islamabad March 19, 2008. Pakistan’s National Assembly elected its first woman speaker on Wednesday, a member of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) which won the elections last month.REUTERS/Stringer (PAKISTAN)

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.

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