On Wednesday, Tunisian President Kais Saied assigned engineer Najla Bouden Ramdhane to head the government. She became the first woman to hold the position in the country’s history, and was asked to make her government’s priority “fighting corruption”.
According to a video clip published by the Tunisian presidency’s account on “Facebook”, Said told “Bouden” while receiving her in her office: “Tunisia is living under exceptional measures, especially in the last period.”
He continued, “I have decided to assign you to form a new government, and this will be the first time in Tunisia’s history, for the first time a woman will head the government, and we will work together with a firm will and determination to eliminate corruption and chaos that pervaded the state in many institutions.”
Said wished from Najla Bouden “the proposal of members of the government in the next few hours or days”; He justified this by saying: “Because we wasted a lot of time and we must work quickly.”
Referring to the challenges awaiting him, he said: “There are honest men and women who work day and night, but there are those who are in contrast to them working to bring down the state, and today we bear a historical responsibility and this moment will indeed be historic.”
He explained that the main task of the “Najla Bouden” government is to “resist corruption relentlessly”, and then “respond to the demands of Tunisian men and women to fulfill their natural rights to education, health, transportation and a decent life.”
Who is the designated president?
Boud3n is 63 years old, born in Kairouan in 1958, and a professor of higher education at the National School of Engineers in Tunis, specializing in geology.
Before being chosen for the new position, she was assigned by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to implement the programs of the World Bank, according to the official Tunisian News Agency.
In 2011, she was appointed Director-General in charge of Quality at the Ministry of Higher Education, and she also held the position of Head of the “Act by Objectives” unit in the same ministry in 2015.
According to The Eastern Herald correspondent, the president-designate is not known to have any political affiliation.
According to observers, Najla Bouden will face difficulties if she succeeds in forming her government, especially since her appointment comes in light of severe political tension in the country, and the president’s keenness to inform her when she receives her today.
It is taking on the task with “extraordinary measures” announced by the president since last July 25, which the majority of parties considered a “coup against the constitution” and “an attempt to establish a dictatorial regime”, while other parties supported it and saw it as a “correction of the course” amid political and economic crises.
These measures included the dismissal of Prime Minister Hisham al-Mashishi, with Saeed taking over the executive authority with the help of a government whose prime minister is appointed, in addition to heading the Public Prosecution Office, freezing the powers of Parliament, and lifting the immunity of MPs.
Subsequently, the Tunisian president decided to abolish the constitutionality of laws monitoring body and to issue legislation by presidential decrees.
The selection of “Bouden” for the position also comes in light of difficult economic conditions in Tunisia, which have been exacerbated by the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, and the political instability that the country is going through.
However, “Najla Bouden” – according to the observers and the details of the measures announced last Wednesday – will be more like a prime minister to the president, than a prime minister.