12 May 2016

First Muslim woman elected speaker of state parliament

A Muslim woman will sit in the speaker's chair at sessions of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament from now on – a first for any German state.

"We wrote history today," Green party politician Muhterem Aras said after being elected with a large majority as president (speaker) of the state legislature.

The south-western state had sent "a message of openness, tolerance, and successful integration," by electing her, she went on, promising to ensure a lively but fair debating culture in the chamber.

Aras, 50, is a tax accountant and financial affairs spokeswoman for the Greens in the wealthy southern state of Baden-Württemberg.

Her family moved from Turkey to Stuttgart, where her father found work at an elevator company and her mother worked as a cleaner. [The Local] Read more