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Tunisia’s president appoints woman as prime minister in first for Arab world

Two months after he dismantled the previous government and seized executive powers, Tunisian President Kais Saied has appointed Najla Bouden Romdhan as the first female prime minister in the history of Tunisia and the Arab world. This marks the first occasion in which a woman has led a government, stated Saied. Romdhan served in the ministry of higher education in 2011 and is set to take office in a moment of crisis for the country. A major threat looms over public finances and democratic gains developed in the 2011 revolution are in doubt across the country.

In July, Saied ousted the Tunisian government and froze the activities of the parliament formerly led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party. Last week, Saied stated that he would rule by decree and control the government himself during an emergency period that has no defined ending, rather than consulting the constitution. Public finances are at risk after years of economic stagnation that was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and political instability. The new government is allegedly looking to seek financial support for the budget and debt repayments after talks with the IMF were put on hold.

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