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Tunisians Elect 1st Female Mayor



A Woman was elected as Mayor of Tunis on Tuesday, for the first time in the North African Country’s history. Souad Abderrahim, the candidate of Tunisia’s conservative Islamist Ennahda (Rebirth) party, was elected by members of Tunis’ 60-strong municipal council with 26 votes. Her nearest rival, Kamal Edir, the candidate of the Nidaa Tounes party of President Beji Caid Essebsi, got 22 votes.

“I dedicate this win to all Tunisians and all women who have struggled to be in such senior positions,’’ Abderrahim said following the vote. Abderrahim, a 53-year-old pharmacist, was an elected member of the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia from 2011 to 2014. She now serves as a member of Ennahda’s policy-making committee.

The Ennahda party was the biggest winner in Tunisia’s May 6 municipal elections, the first since the 2011 uprising. The polls were seen as an important step in Tunisia’s democratic transition. The constitution, approved in 2014, gives municipal councils vast powers, with the aim of boosting decentralisation. However, turnout was extremely sluggish, with just 33.7 per cent of the country’s 5.3 million eligible voters casting their ballots.

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