President appoints woman Prime Minister amid turmoil

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – The Tunisian president on Wednesday appointed the country’s first female prime minister, appointing a 63-year-old professor to head a transitional government after the head of state sacked the former prime minister Minister and suspended Parliament.

Najla Bouden Ramadhane, professor at a prestigious engineering school, becomes one of the first women in the Arab world to hold such a high post.

President Kais Saied appointed Ramadhane to the post in a surprise move and asked him to create a new cabinet as soon as possible, according to a statement from the president’s office.


Tunisia has been without a head of government and in limbo since Saied froze the country’s parliament and seized executive powers on July 25. The move notably ousted the Islamist party that dominated parliament, Ennahdha, and critics denounced the president’s measures as a coup threatening Tunisia. young democracy.

Saied said he acted to save the country amid financial turmoil and the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is not known how much power Ramadhane will be able to cede due to the president’s actions. Last week, Saied issued presidential decrees strengthening his already near-total power and announced plans for a transitional government and new electoral rules.

The decrees include the continued suspension of the powers of parliament, the suspension of the immunity of lawmakers from prosecution and a freeze on the salaries of lawmakers. The decrees also indicated Saied’s intention not to send the laws for parliamentary approval and to the presidential decree alone, ignoring parts of the Tunisian constitution.

His actions have raised concern among Islamists and pro-democracy forces in and beyond the Arab world. Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings a decade ago, was the only country to emerge from the tumultuous period with a newly designed democratic political system.

More than 100 Ennahdha officials announced their resignation on Saturday to protest against the party leadership’s choices in the face of the political crisis in the North African country.

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This version corrects the spelling of the new prime minister’s first name to Najla, not Raoudha.

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