DAMASCUS, Syria – A Syrian woman who is a member of President Bashar Assad's Baath party has been chosen as the new parliament speaker, becoming the first woman to ever hold the post.
Hadiyeh al-Abbas, 58, won uncontested Monday during the first session of the People's Assembly, elected in April.
Al-Abbas holds a PhD in agricultural engineering and was a professor at al-Furat University in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour, which is currently contested by government forces and the Islamic State group.
Najdat Anzour, one of Syria's best-known producers and most acclaimed directors, was chosen as deputy parliament speaker. He is a staunch Assad supporter.
Syria has elected two parliaments since the start of the 2011 uprising, which plunged the country into a civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people.