Tunisia appoints Najla Bouden Romdhane as the first prime minister in the Arab world

Najla Bouden Romdhane

Two months after sacking the previous prime minister, Tunisian President Kais Saied appointed Najla Bouden Romdhane as the first female prime minister in the country, as well as in the Arab world.


Saied, a secularist, assumed executive authority and suspended parliament after sacking the previous Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, who was from the Islami-Oriented An-Nadha party in July. He was also suspended most of the constitution in 2014 by announcing that he would rule by decree, prompting massive street protests over the weekend.

Saied in his speech said that he has decided to entrusted Romdhane to become the first female head of government in the history of their nation. Added saying that he would work with Romdhane with strength and determination to eradicate corruption and put an end to the chaos.

Romdhane, who was a little-known professor of geophysics, has been asked to form a government and announce his cabinet as soon as possible.

It is known that the president has been facing domestic and international pressure to immediately announce a new government after sacking the previous prime minister.

“I honoured Tunisian women by appointing her as prime minister”, says Saied in a video posted on the presidency’s Facebook page.

Romdhane is predicted to have less direct power than the previous prime minister, given that the government will be answerable to the president.

Tunisia has been experiencing political and economic crisis for some time now, which was then exacerbated by infighting between secularists and Islamists as well as the poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic which resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.

Born in 1958 in Kairouan, Romdhane recently worked as a professor at the National School of Engineers in Tunisia. Romdhane, who also served as director-general at the Ministry of Higher Education, was also assigned to implemented World Bank projects in the education sector.

Romdhane, a political outsider, will be the 10th Prime Minister of the country since the 2011 uprising sparked by the death of a vegetable vendor Mohammed Bouazizi, which later leads to a wave of protests that overthrow longtime dictator Zine El Abedine Ben Ali.

But miraculously, Tunisia managed to rise from the chaos and reform their government to a democratic system.

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