Longtime cabinet minister Ross Wiseman has been appointed Speaker of Newfoundland and Labrador's legislature.

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Former cabinet minister Ross Wiseman is set to become the next Speaker of the house of assembly. ((CBC))

Wiseman was chosen Thursday at the house of assembly, the only time this fall the house will be open for business.

Tom Osborne, a former cabinet minister who has represented St. John's South since 1996, had indicated an intention to run for the post, but has since withdrawn.

Outgoing speaker Roger Fitzgerald has retired from politics.

New members of the house were sworn in Thursday morning.

When the house clsoed Thursday, members voted to keep the house closed until March 5, 2012.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale, who led the Progressive Conservatives to a third consecutive majority government on Oct. 11, sparked criticism by refusing to open the legislature for new business until the spring sitting. Dunderdale said there is no legislature ready to table for debate.