Pakistan's National Assembly (NA), or lower house of the parliament, on Wednesday elected Fahmida Mirza as the NA speaker, the first woman speaker in Pakistani history.
"Fahmida Mirza is declared elected Speaker of the National Assembly," outgoing Speaker Chaudhry Hussain announced amid desk thumping by the members, a unique expression for agreement.
Fahmida Mirza, candidate for the post of Speaker of the National Assembly from Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, arrives during the election of the speaker at the National Assembly in Islamabad March 19, 2008. Pakistan's National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday elected Fahmida Mirza as the NA speaker, the first woman speaker in Pakistani history. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Mirza secured 249 votes out of 324 polled in the 342-member lower house of the parliament. Her rival Israr Tareen of the opposition parties secured 70 votes.
After being elected, the newly-elected speaker took oath before Chaudhry Hussain and began to take over charge of the custodian of the lower house.