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Pakistan’s first woman Speaker

world Updated: Mar 19, 2008 01:26 IST
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Fahmida Mirza is all set to become the first woman Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Tuesday nominated 51-year-old Mirza, a medical graduate, and Faisal Karim Kundi as its candidates for the posts of Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively of the lower house of parliament.

The two candidates are expected to win as the PPP and its allies — the PML-N, the Awami National Party and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam have a majority in the National Assembly. If she is elected, Mirza will be the first woman Speaker of Pakistan.

The deadline for the filing of nomination papers for the two posts ended at noon on Tuesday. Polling for the posts will be held through secret ballot at 11am on Wednesday and the new Speaker will take charge as custodian of the House the same day.

The nominations were made by PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari late on Tuesday after weeks of consultations with party MPs and allies.

Mirza comes from a political family of Sindh province. She is the wife of Zulfiqar Mirza, a member of the Sindh provincial assembly and a close aide of Zardari. She won in the poll from the coastal district of Badin.

Kundi, elected to the National Assembly for the first time, is a youngster who was personally groomed by Benazir Bhutto.