A woman Souad Abderrahim, a 54-year-old pharmacist from Tunisia’s moderate Islamic party was elected on Tuesday as mayor of the capital city, Tunis, the first run through a lady holds the post.
Tunisia’s municipal elections were held May 6, but newly-elected municipal councils are only now voting for mayors.
Abderrahim, 53, won 33.8 percent of votes during municipal elections in early May, she still needed to secure the support of municipal councillors in order to take office.
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.
Abderrahim, a former lawmaker and an advocate for women’s rights, dedicated her win to women
Ennahdha declared in 2016 that it was separating politics from religion, stepping away from the notion of political Islam typically embodied by Islamic parties.
In an interview with Associated Press during campaigning Abderrahim said, that cleaning up the capital and planting trees would be her first priority.
She likewise said that the female candidates put forth by her party constitute a “message aimed at reassuring the women of my country” that advances made by women in the North African nation would not be compromised by her party.
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.