A woman who hails from one of India’s minority ethnic communities was chosen Thursday as the country’s new president, a largely ceremonial position.
Droupadi Murmu, a leader from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was elected by the Indian Parliament and state legislatures in voting Monday, making her the first president from one of the country’s tribal groups and the second-ever woman to hold the position.
She will be formally sworn in as the president next week.
Murmu, 64, who hails from the eastern state of Odisha and was governor of Jharkhand state from 2015-21, is a member of the Santal ethnic minority, one of India’s largest tribal groups.
She started out as a schoolteacher before entering politics and has been a two-time lawmaker from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.