Tunisia has a new government. 8 women out of 24 ministers

Priorities fight against corruption and economic recovery

11 October, 17:31

    Tunisian President Kais Saied and prime minister-elect Najla Bouden Tunisian President Kais Saied and prime minister-elect Najla Bouden

    TUNIS - Tunisia has a new government as of Monday, 11 weeks after the dismissal of the previous one by Tunisian President Kais Saied, who took full powers on 25 July, the president's office announced.

    "The president of the Republic enacts a decree that nominates the head of government and its members," said the statement from the president's office just prior to the official TV broadcast of the swearing-in ceremony.

    The new government team announced during the ceremony by prime minister-elect Najla Bouden is made up of 24 ministers, including eight woman, and an undersecretary for foreign affairs.

    The nomination of the ministers took place by presidential decree.

    The exceptional measures do not foresee a confidence vote in Parliament, because Parliament is suspended.

    For all intents and purposes, this is the president's government.

    According to Decree 117 of 22 September, in fact, "executive power is exercised by the president of the Republic aided by a government led by a head of government".

    Among the ministers, some confirmations such as Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi and the return of 53-year-old lawyer Taoufick Charfeddine to the Interior Ministry.

    Charfeddine is one of President Saied's trusted advisors, as he coordinated the president's electoral campaign in 2019 in Sousse.

    Charfeddine was exonerated last January by then-Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, as part of an operation that then led to a reshuffle that Saied judged unconstitutional and thus refused the appointment of the ministers proposed and approved by Parliament.

    It was Mechichi's decision to sack Charfeddine that irreparably broke the relationship between the two.

    At the head of the Justice Ministry is Najla Jaffel, with Imed Memich heading the Ministry of Defence.

    Two women - Sarah Zaafrani and Neil Nouira Ghandri - will head the Ministry of Infrastructure and Ministry of Industry, respectively.

    The absolute first priority of the Bouden government is the fight against corruption and economic recovery.

    "Fighting against corruption, which is increasingly worsening, to give back hope to Tunisians in a better future," she said.

    The new Tunisian government's objective is "giving back trust to the people".

    "We have to restore citizens' trust in the Tunisian State and foreign countries' trust in our country," she said.

    "Competence and experience will be the keys to reaching these objectives and improving the efficiency of the work of public institutions," she said, presenting her agenda, in which "great importance" will be given to economic recovery and improving citizens' living conditions and purchasing power.

    "This government will work for the good of the country and the people and will be open to all parties," Bouden said in a video from the Tunisian president's office.

    "We are going through historically difficult times, but we can do it," Saied said immediately after the swearing-in of the new Bouden government, expressing gratitude for the progress made in the fight against the Covid pandemic.

    In particular, Saied recognised that "the Tunisian prime minister has taken on a great responsibility in these circumstances".

    The nomination of the government comes nearly three months after Saied's decision on 25 July to sack Prime Minister Mechici and suspend Parliament, invoking Article 80 of the Constitution.

    On 22 September, Saied further reinforced the powers of the presidency, at the expense of the legislative and executive.

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