Tunisian’s President Named Arab’s World First Ever Female Prime Minister
Tunisia's President Kais Saied appointed Najla Bouden Romdhane on Wednesday as the new Prime Minister, a crucial step in leading the country out of its political crisis.
Saied was allegedly under pressure to name a government since July amid growing domestic and international criticism that he has embarked on after dismissing the last Prime Minister, suspended parliament and seized power in what critics called a “coup.”
The Tunisian Press Agency reported that President Saied recalled it being the first time in Tunisia's history that a woman held this position.
"This is a historic moment, an honour for Tunisia and a tribute to Tunisian women. We will endeavor with firm resolve to combat corruption and fight against the anarchy that reigns in several institutions," he stated.
Following the extended emergency measures that allow Saied to rule by decree, Romdhane will likely have less power than the previous prime ministers, but will nonetheless have to act quickly to secure release from the country’s exceedingly looming debt.
Tunisia’s political crisis has stemmed after years of stagnation, aggravated by the pandemic and political uncertainty.
Romdhane, 63, who did not speak on her first appearance in her new role, holds a doctorate in geology and is a higher education professor at the Tunis National School of Engineering.
Before being appointed prime minister, Romdhane served as the World Bank’s Programme Implementation Officer at the Ministry of Higher Education. Aside from that, she’s presumed to have insufficient government experience.
Saied wasted no time in assigning the new prime minister her first task, where she’s to propose a cabinet in the coming days.