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Scheer elected as Canada's youngest House speaker

06-03-2011 13:29 BJT

OTTAWA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Andrew Scheer, 32, was elected as the speaker of Canada's House of Commons on Thursday, becoming the youngest person ever to hold that post.

The Conservative member of parliament (MP) from Saskatchewan Province defeated seven other candidates following a six-round, day-long vote.

Scheer, a former deputy House speaker, was escorted to the speaker's chair by Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper and leader of the official opposition Jack Layton of the New Democratic Party (NDP).

"I will do my best to live up to the trust that you've placed in me," Scheer told his colleagues after the victory, while pledging to improve decorum in the House.

He said before the voting that "toxic language" has too often crept into their debates and Canadians are disappointed by their name-calling and other behaviors.

The speaker election was the first order of business Thursday, the first day of the newly elected 308-seat lower parliamentary chamber that includes more than 100 first-time members, mostly from the NDP.

Under Canadian laws, the speaker of House acts as a nonpartisan parliament member and sacrifices the ability to vote in the House of Commons, except when a tie must be broken.

Liberal MP Peter Milliken, Scheer's predecessor, was the longest-serving speaker, presiding over the house for 10 years until his retirement.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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