Embattled Tunisia president fires central bank governor over policy issues

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moncef marzouki
President of the Republic of Tunisia Moncef Marzouki. Photo - WorldTomorrow.Wikileaks.org

The President of Tunisia Moncef Marzouki announced on Wednesday the removal of Mustapha Kamel Nabli from his position as the Governor of the Central Bank in line with Article 26 of the Interim Law of Public Authorities from 16 December, 2011. The National Constituent Assembly will now have 15 days to ratify Nabli’s removal.

Reports coming from Tunis said the central bank governor was sacked due to disagreements over economic policy. Many analysts believe the move could alarm investors already jittery after last year’s revolution.

“The president has taken, in agreement with the prime minister, the decision to end the mission of the central bank governor. The decision has been referred to the constituent assembly for approval,” Adnen Moncer told Reuters. “The reason is linked to the administration of the bank and the financial affairs of the country in recent months.”

Tunisia was the first Arab country that saw an uprising against former President Zine Al Abedin Ben Ali who ruled the country for 27 years before getting toppled in January 2011. The North African republic’s economy shrank 1.8% last year due to the uprising and an economic crisis in Europe, its main trading partner. Tourist numbers have dwindled and a flight of investment has brought the economy to a standstill.

The central bank locked itself in a dispute with the government when it unveiled an inflation target for the year, complaining it was the apex bank’s right to do so and that no political interference would be accepted.

Nabli is an academic and former chief Middle East economist for the World Bank. He was swiftly appointed days after the 16 January 2011 revolution that also sparked uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.

 

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