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Pakistan's Parliament Nominates First Female National Assembly Speaker


The party set to form Pakistan's next government has nominated the country's first female speaker of parliament.

The Pakistan People's Party of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto Tuesday, chose Fahmida Mirza, a businesswoman and lawmaker from Sindh province.

Mirza is married to a close friend of Bhutto's widower and now party leader, Asif Ali Zardari. Parliament is expected to quickly approve her nomination Wednesday.

The PPP also nominated Faisal Karim Kundi as deputy speaker.

The PPP crushed President Pervez Musharraf's allies in last month's parliamentary elections and plans to form a coalition government with the Pakistan Muslim League-N.

Zardari has said he has no plans to run for prime minister - but political analysts and media outlets speculate he will make a bid for the top post in the new government.

Zardari is not eligible currently because he is not a member of parliament.

The PPP and Pakistan Muslim League-N have vowed to reinstate top judges who were fired by Mr. Musharraf under emergency rule.

If reinstated, the judges could overturn Mr. Musharraf's re-election as president while he was still army chief last year.

The new Supreme Court, stocked with President Musharraf's allies, met Tuesday but did not publicize its agenda.

The leader of the campaign to reinstate the fired judges has threatened nationwide protests if the court blocks parliamentary efforts to bring back the old judges.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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