Tunisian President Saied sacks first female PM Najla Bouden

Najla Bouden was seen by critics as an ally of President Kais Saied, who has been curtailing opposition parties and independent media since a controversial power grab in 2021

Bouden was Tunisia's first female prime minister (Photo: DW)
Bouden was Tunisia's first female prime minister (Photo: DW)


Tunisian President Kais Saied has sacked the country's Prime Minister Najla Bouden, he said in a brief statement early on Wednesday.

Bouden was Tunisia's first female prime minister, and the first of any Arab League country.

She was appointed by Saied in October 2021 after he suspended parliament, unseated the previous prime minister, and granted himself sweeping powers in a move described by the opposition as a "coup."

Bouden was considered by her critics to be the "shadow of the president" with little power in practice.

No explanation was given for her dismissal.

However, the move comes amid growing discontent in Tunisia over food shortages, price hikes and frequent queues for bread, which Saied has increasingly blamed on government officials.

Ahmed Hachani appointed as PM

According to a statement put out by Saied's office, he appointed Ahmed Hachani as prime minister late on Tuesday night.

Hachani is a relatively unknown figure who worked at the Tunisian central bank and studied law at the University of Tunis, where Saied taught, according to the statement.

"There are great challenges that we must raise ... to preserve our homeland, our state and civil peace," Saied told Hachani after he took the constitutional oath.

Saied has in recent months ordered the dismissal of various ministers, including former Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi, wihout giving a reason.

It comes amid a crackdown on opposition figures, prominent businessmen and journalists.

More than 20 people have been arrested since February including Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party and one of the president's highest-profile critics.

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