Tunisia’s newly elected president Kais Saied was sworn in on Wednesday during a ceremony at the country’s parliament, reported Reuters.
Saied won the overwhelming support of voters in an October 13 runoff, sweeping 72.71 percent of the vote. He presented himself as an independent outsider while winning the presidential election earlier this month. The poll followed the death of Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia’s first president freely elected by universal suffrage, in July.
In his first address to the nation after being sworn in at the country’s parliament, Saied vowed to fight hard for women’s rights. He said his government would fight corruption and shore up the freedoms gained over the past few years, since the Arab Spring began in Tunisia.
“We will support women to gain more rights, especially economic and social rights,” the newly elected president said. “The dignity of a nation comes from the dignity of its citizens, men and women equally.”
The 61-year-old said the country will no more tolerate wastage of the people’s money and promised to respond to the youth’s aspirations for employment and dignity.
He promised to tackle the roots of extremism and asked the people to stand united against terrorism. In 2015, Tunisia was hit by a series of deadly attacks that hit the tourism sector hard.
Saied also pointed at the governing elite’s failure since the 2011 revolution that led to the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings.
“The Tunisians need a trust relation to be established between those who are governing and those who are being governed, who have long suffered injustice and iniquity,” he said.
He reaffirmed he would strongly advocate for the Palestinian cause. He said it’s time that the country must move from frustration to construction and work and called on people to contribute a day’s work each month for five years to spur a recovery.