The first female prime minister in the Arab world was born in Tunisia, the birthplace of the ‘Arab Spring’. However, President Kais Saied, who appointed the first female prime minister in Tunisia’s history, has been criticized for his dictatorship because he suspended the activities of the National Assembly in July and took emergency measures for a ‘coup d’état’.
President Saied appointed Najula Buden Romdan (63, photo) as prime minister on the 29th (local time), local media such as Al Jazeera reported. There are also women ministers in the Arab world, but this is the first time there is a woman prime minister. The president, who seized power by halting the parliament, used the reverse card of ‘appointing a female prime minister’.
“We will work to end the corruption and chaos that pervades the institutions of the state,” Saied said in a meeting with Prime Minister Romdan on the same day. There is no more time to waste,” he said, asking for a new government to be formed and submitted. Tunisia is the origin of the ‘Arab Spring’ that swept North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, and has been selected as one of the few countries that successfully democratized among the regions where the Arab Spring movement took place. However, when large-scale protests were held in July due to economic difficulties and poor response to Corona 19, President Saied dismissed the prime minister, the head of the parliament, and suspended the functions of the parliament for 30 days.
The new Prime Minister is Professor of Geology at the National Engineering School of Tunisia. He once worked for the Ministry of Higher Education and promoted educational reform programs, but had no political career. Although he left the record of ‘the first female prime minister’ in the Arab world, where women’s status is poor, there are also views that Prime Minister Romdan’s political capacity is questionable in Tunisia, where even the principles of democracy are shaken. The New York Times predicted that “while winning the title of first female prime minister, she has no political experience and will do little to dispel concerns that the Tunisian president is dreaming of becoming a dictatorship.”
Politicians and experts questioned its legitimacy. Former Minister Samir Dilu said, “It is illegal for the president to appoint a prime minister after taking emergency measures for a coup d’état. It was revealed through his social networking service (SNS). Tunisian political analyst Tarek Kalauy said, “He is trying to hide his dictatorship by appointing a female prime minister.”
Still, the people expect the new prime minister to make Tunisia a better place. Al Jazeera said the people of Tunisia are hoping the new prime minister will revive the image of Tunisia, the only country that has succeeded in the ‘Arab Spring’. “It’s a positive sign that a woman leads the government,” Amin Ben Salem, a Tunisian bank employee, told Al Jazeera. “I hope the new prime minister can save the country from the specter of bankruptcy.” “I want the first female prime minister to improve the economy,” Ala Brikey, in her 20s, who recently lost her job, told The New York Times.