3 July 2018

Tunisia: Islamist-Supported Candidate Becomes First Female Mayor of Tunis

Souad Abderrahim dedicated her victory to "all women who have struggled" to reach senior positions. This was the first mayoral election in the Tunisian capital since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

The capital of Tunisia elected its first-ever female mayor on Tuesday. Souad Abderrahim, 53, ran as an independent but was backed by the Islamist Ennahda (Rebirth) party.

"I dedicate this win to all Tunisians and all women who have struggled to be in such senior positions," said Abderrahim, who works for a pharmaceutical firm.

Shortly after the country's 2011 Arab Spring movement, Abderrahim was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia, where she served until 2014.

Since then, she has been serving as a member of Ennahda's policy-making committee.

She was elected by Tunis' city council in the second round of voting by 25-22, beating Kamel Idir, candidate of the Nidaa Tounes party of President Beji Caid Essebsi.

The country's new constitution, which was approved in 2014, gave municipalities sweeping powers in a bid to decentralize authority.

The vote marks the first time Tunis has voted on a new mayor since the 2011 uprising. Abderrahim's candidacy was part of a gambit from the Ennahda party to modernize its image.

es/kms (AFP, dpa)

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