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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
First ethnic minority AM elected
Mohammad Asghar
Mohammad Asghar was clearly overcome by his election
The assembly has its first ethnic minority member with the election of Plaid Cymru's Mohammad Asghar on the regional list.

Mr Asghar, who was second on the Plaid list, was the fourth and final AM to be elected in South Wales East.

"I'm lost for words at the moment," he admitted after his election was confirmed at about 0600 BST on Friday.

The Commission for Racial Equality said it was "a huge step forward" and part of the way Wales was taking shape.

Mr Asghar said it would be his "great pleasure" to serve in the assembly.

"I'm very excited and I don't know what to say," he said.

"I will be serving with my heart and soul for the ethnic minorities which are an integral part of the United Kingdom and Wales."

Accountancy course

Plaid MP Adam Price welcomed the election of Mr Asghar, who is affectionately known as Oscar in the party.

Mr Asghar was born in Pashawar in 1945 and lives in Newport. He attended Pashawar University and completed an accountancy course in Nash College, Newport.

He has stood for Plaid Cymru in previous elections, including the last general election, and is a Plaid regional co-ordinator and member of the National Executive Committee.

'Really good news'

His interests include athletics and badminton, and he is also a keen cricket fan. Mr Asghar also holds a pilot's licence and enjoys flying.

Mr Asghar's political interests include economic development and he feels strongly about combating social exclusion.

His success at the election has been welcomed by director of the Commission for Racial Equality in Wales, Chris Myant.

"I think it's great news, It's all part of the way Wales is taking shape as a nation of diversity on a global stage," he said.

"Naturally it is disappointing that it has taken the political structure in Wales so long to achieve this.

"The assembly sits in Cardiff right beside one of the oldest black communities stretching back a century and a half and that community still faces problems of social exclusion and inequality that the people living there now still share with their great great grandparents.

"There is still a huge step forward to be made, but this is really good news."

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