Despite denials by the Tunisian Central Bank (BCT) over the weekend, the removal of bank Governor Mustapha Kamel Nabli seems an increasingly likely possibility.
Moncef Cheikhrouhou, a member of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly, and Habib Sif, the former CEO of the Tunisian-Kuwaiti Bank, are being promoted as Nabli's possible successors, according to Macchad News.
The governor of the BCT can be relieved of his duties by presidential decree if there is an agreement between the president and prime minister, and if the agreement is approved by a majority of members present in the Constituent Assembly. The removal of a governor can also be put into effect if one-third of the members of the board of the BCT vote in favor of the resolution.
The discussion comes at a time when the Tunisian economy is facing concerns stemming from a high unemployment rate and, most recently, a downgrade rating from Standard and Poors. As the credentials of these potential successors are discussed amongst bank officials, the question on many Tunisians' minds is: How will this affect the Tunisian economy?
Mohsen Hassen, a Tunisian businessman and economics professor, denies that a change in BCT leadership is sufficient to resolve Tunisia's economic issues since, ¦the role of the central bank has not been positive.
Moreover, Hassen asserted that Tunisia's economic sector is hindered by a lack of coordination between key decision-makers, including civil society, the government, and the banking industry. A change in BCT leadership, in Mr.Hassen's eyes, does not address the deeper, structural concerns that make the current system ineffective. Instead, he suggested that structural adjustments need to be made to address the longer-term issues of investment, support for disadvantaged regions, and increasing efficiency among economic leaders.
Most of all, Hassen emphasized that for true economic reform to occur, There needs to be better coordination between the central bank, the government, and civil society.