Tunisian President Kais bin Saied appointed a little-known engineer, Najla Bouden, as prime minister, making her the first female to fill the position in the history of Tunisia. 

Bouden, 63, is also apparently the first woman appointed as head of government in an Arab League nation.

The new prime minister is a university professor specializing in geology and has no political affiliation. She is entering the position at a time when her country is in economic and political turmoil. 

Saied tasked her with making the government’s priority to fight corruption and restore hope to Tunisians.

Tunisian President Kais Saied tasks Najla Bouden Romdhane with forming a new government (Photo: Official Twitter account of the Tunisian Presidency)

This is a first step in recovering Tunisia from the corruption that had characterized the government since before the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, Saied said. The Tunisian revolution brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power, but since the demands of the revolution were not achieved, the country remained in a state of unrest.

Saied froze the country’s parliament and seized executive powers on July 26, dismissing former Prime Minister Hisham al-Mashishi, who represents the Muslim Brotherhood. Many said that Saied’s actions were illegal.

However, the Tunisian president claimed he acted constitutionally and that he was responding to the demands of Tunisians who wanted a new government.

With this new government, however, Bouden will likely not have much power to yield.

A few days ago, demonstrations were initiated in Tunisia by some parties that were adversely affected by the dismissal of the government, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood. The demonstrators demanded that the Tunisian president reappoint the prime minister democratically so that the Tunisian revolution that erupted in 2011 would not lose what it had achieved.

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