Chadli Ayari, the former economics minister
Tunisia - Nabil Zaghdoud
Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly endorsed a decree to appoint Chadli Ayari, the former economics minister to be the new governor of the Central Bank, succeeding Mustafa Kamal al-Nabli who was sacked last Thursday for continuing to follow the monetary policy of the former regime.
Head of the constituent assembly Mustafa Bin Gafar, announced that 96 members voted for the decree while 89 denounced it and 5 members invalidated their votes.
The session witnessed a noisy debate between members from the ruling coalition in support of the appointment and those who are opposed to the employment of Chadli Ayari as governor of the Central Bank.
Samya Abu, a member of the Congress Party which is a partner in the ruling coalition, said that the Congress Party "is not an opposition party to reject President Moncef Marzouki's decree. He was the party's head before resigning to take up the presidency. Employing Chadli Ayari as the Central Bank governor is an unforgivable mistake, the revolution's biggest mistake".
Directing her comments towards the Ennahda ruling movement, Samya Abu added: "while Chadli was glorifying
Bin Ali's regime, many members of the Ennahda movement were suffering in prison".
Khamis Qsila a democratic opponent said: "the three ruling parties are working to filter out the state's institutions, which should be run by well qualified people independently" confirming that the state's interest does not permit any government official to affect the independence of the Central Bank.
He added: Sacking the governor of the Central Bank and employing another other one is manipulating the fate of this sensitive institution as all three ruling parties have to bear responsibility for the consequences of the decree, which has eroded the trust the international market and our foreign partners has for our capital and our country."
The spokesman for Kotla. a breakaway movement from the Congress Party said: "Today I am ashamed on behalf of the martyrs of the revolution and for everyone who shared in the toppling of the corrupt and dictatorial regime, to be gathered today to discuss the decree to employ Ayari as head of the Central Bank".
The government defended its decision claiming that Chadli Ayari is a prominent economist, with long experience in academic, governmental, and diplomatic fields. Economic consultant to the Tunisian government Reda Saady said "the experience that Ayari has earned, will allow him to play an effective and qualified role in the Central Bank", adding that the Central Bank leadership at this important stage in Tunisia's renaissance needs to integrate the efforts of everyone in order for there to be a successful transfer to democracy, by building strong institutions with a transparent and rational government.
Sheikh Rashid al-Ghannouchi on his Facebook account, published an article defending this decree saying that Ayari had little contact with the former regime, adding that he is "a great economic leader."
In an article entitled "Why this campaign against Chadli Ayari? Ghannouchi asked the question: "Is it because the troika have choose him? The man is above criticism but justice has to spread, and responsibility must go to those who deserve it according to what it needs, if it's about military so the responsible must be given to the brave, someone who is loyal, and has experience of war; if it's about politics so it needs a politician, and if it's about economy or finance it need an expert".
Before declaring the presidential decree to appoint Ayari as the Central Bank governor, Ayari defended himself against his opponents' accusations of being part of the old regime saying "I have faced accusations of supporting the former regime just because I wrote 3 pages of a 400-page book for the November 7 anniversary (of the ouster of Bin Ali ) in which I was asked to give my opinion about the current Tunisian economic model against the former model".