Tunisia gets first woman prime minister amid political crisis

unisia president Kais Saied, flanked by the flag of Tunisia. (Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

(Bloomberg) --Tunisia’s president picked a top education official as the North African nation’s new prime minister, two months after suspending parliament amid a political crisis.

By Jihen Laghmari and Souhail Karam
Sep 29, 2021, 12:34 PM
Word Count: 240

The office of President Kais Saied announced the appointment of Najla Bouden Romdhane in a statement Wednesday. Local media said she was the first woman to be named to the position in Tunisia’s history.

The decision came about a week after Saied assumed sweeping powers that allow him to govern by decree, a possible precursor to an attempt to amend the 2014 constitution that established a rare fully-fledged Arab democracy.

In taking power July 25, Saied alleged a bickering and corrupt political class was dragging Tunisia backward, as protests raged against a stagnant economy hit hard by Covid. The moderate Islamist Ennahda party, the biggest bloc in parliament, called it a coup but many ordinary Tunisians cheered the president on.

Key among investor concerns are stalled efforts to secure a new International Monetary Fund program and the drafting of budget proposals for this year and next.

Elected in 2019 on an anti-establishment platform, the unassuming professor-turned-president suspended parliament and sacked the prime minister in late July, raising the prospect that the birthplace of the Arab Spring was sliding back toward the autocratic rule that stifled freedom for decades before a wave of protests reshaped the region in 2011.

Roumdhane has worked at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, according to local broadcaster Mosaique FM.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

[%% img-description %%]

The lowdown on NHI: The why, the impact and your options

Why does the government want to introduce NHI, will this mean the end of medical schemes as we know them, and what can be expected to change in the next two years?

Join our live webinar on Thu 30 May at 12h00, live, online and free of charge.

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

As the school year starts again, thousands of children will not have the basics (like books) to learn from.

81% of children aged 10 cannot read for meaning in South Africa.

For every copy of MavericKids sold from the Daily Maverick shop, we will donate a copy to Gift of the Givers for learners in need. If you don't have a child in your life, you can donate both copies.

Small effort, big impact.