Tunisia president picks first woman as PM two months after seizing powers

Newly appointed Prime Minister Najla Bouden Romdhane poses for a picture during her meeting with Tunisia's President Kais Saied, in Tunis, Tunisia September 29, 2021. Tunisian Presidency/Handout

Tunisia’s president on Wednesday named Najla Bouden as the country’s first ever female prime minister and tasked her with forming a government. 

“The President of the Republic Kais Saied charged Najla Bouden with forming a government as quickly as possible,” said a statement from his office.

Romdhane will take office at a moment of national crisis, with the democratic gains won in a 2011 revolution in doubt and as a major threat looms to public finances.

Saied dismissed the previous prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed wide executive powers in July and has been under growing domestic and international pressure to form a new government.

Last week he brushed aside much of the constitution to say he could rule largely by decree.

He has named Romdhane under the provisions he announced last week and has asked her to quickly form a new government, the presidency said on social media.

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