The American power giant, General Electric, signed an ambiguous multimillion dollar contract with ex Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, securing the establishment of energy turbines in Tunisia.
In 2002, Ben Ali closed a deal with GE that is valued at $152 million. The contract was for the placement of electric production turbines in three areas, namely: Tina, Feriana and La Goulette.
In doing so, the ousted president favored the American company over competitors and subsequently ignored all Tunisian laws in place against rewarding governmental contracts.
Generally, the law requires a transparent international call for different bidders looking to obtain a public contract with the government. The legislation in Tunisia stipulates that in the case of any important project, there should be consultation with the Supreme Committee for Public Projects. Accordingly, the committee has the right either to adopt or reject the project.
In this case, the role of the Supreme Committee for Public Projects was bypassed. The terms of the contract’s negotiation were not transparent due to Ben Ali’s personal intervention for the company.