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September 29, 2021 10:40 am

Tunisia Leader Picks First Woman as PM at Moment of Crisis

avatar by i24 News

The flag of Tunisia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

i24 News – Tunisian President Kais Saied first tasked a woman, Najla Bouden, with forming a government in Tunisia, two months after the previous cabinet was sacked, the presidency announced on Wednesday.

Bouden was “charged with forming a government as soon as possible,” the presidency said in a statement.

Born in 1958 and a scientist by training, Bouden, who is practically the same age as Saied and hails from the city of Kairouan, is unknown to the general public.

It is the first time that a woman takes the head of the government in Tunisia, even if the powers granted to this role have been considerably diminished by the “exceptional measures” adopted by Saied on September 22, which suspend the application of key chapters of the Constitution.

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The presidency released a video of Saied receiving Bouden in his office and instructing her to form a new government to present it to him “in the next few hours or days.”

Saied has repeatedly insisted on the “historic” nature of the appointment of a woman for the first time to lead the government in Tunisia. “It is an honor for Tunisia and a tribute to Tunisian women.”

The main mission of the future government will be “to put an end to the corruption and chaos which has spread to many state institutions.”

The presidential decree of September 22 formalized the coup de force of July 25 by Saied by which he assumed full powers, after having dismissed the prime minister, frozen the parliament and having also taken over the judicial power.

On the basis of the “exceptional measures,” Saied took the time to carry out a series of “political reforms.”

The measures of September 22 also provide for the continuation of the freezing of parliament and for the president to legislate by decree.

Prior to her surprise appointment, Bouden was managing director of a higher education reform project .

Previously, the doctor in geology held senior positions at the Higher Education Ministry.

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