Tunisia’s new government includes record number of women

By By Associated Press Reporter

Tunisia got a new government after more than two months without one, with the prime minister naming her Cabinet, including a record number of women.

The ministerial appointments announced by prime minister Najla Bouden filled a vacuum that had persisted since President Kais Saied abruptly dismissed his former cabinet and suspended parliament 11 weeks ago, concentrating all executive powers.

His critics and constitutional lawyers have likened his actions to a coup.

Tunisians demonstrate against Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis on Sunday (Hassene Dridi/AP)

Ms Bouden, named September 29 by Mr Saied as Tunisia’s first female prime minister, said during the swearing-in ceremony of her new ministers that their main priority would be fighting corruption.

The new cabinet has an unprecedented 10 women, including the prime minister.

Justice Minister Leila Jaffel during the the swearing-in ceremony (Slim Abid/AP)

They include Leila Jaffel, new at the Ministry of Justice, and Sihem Boughdiri Nemseya, reappointed as finance minister.

Mr Saied had previously promised a new government for July.

Tunisian President Kais Saied shows a scene of he what he says are scuffles among politicians in the previous parliament (Slim Abid/AP)

But he then partially suspended the constitution on September 22 and gave himself the power to rule by decree.

He has argued that pandemic-hit Tunisia is in crisis and that the measures are temporary.

Protests for and against Mr Saied have attracted thousands of people in recent weeks.

Mr Saied said on Monday the temporary measures “will remain in force for as long as the peril is real”.

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