Tunisian Parties Agree on Candidate for Premiership
Correspondence between heads of 38 political parties and parliamentary blocs to Tunisia’s President on Friday showed a near consensus on Hakim Ben Hammouda, the former minister of economy, to head the next government.
His name was proposed by seven major parties and parliamentary blocs in the country, giving him a great chance to assume Tunisia’s premiership.
Kais Saied has started reviewing the list of candidates for the position and will announce a winner next Monday.
However, some observers do not rule out a resounding surprise regarding the figure Saied will propose.
Ben Hammouda's name was widely mentioned in the first place, followed by Fadhel Abdelkefi, the former minister of development, investment and international cooperation.
Long Live Tunes (Tahya Tounes), Heart of Tunisia (Qalb Tounes), People’s Movement, Afaq Tounes, the Future Bloc, Tunis Project Movement, and the Tunisia Alternative Party all named Ben Hammouda.
Ennahda Movement, for its part, named General Director of the Deposit Fund in the Ministry of Finance Boutheina Ben Yaghlane, Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy Anouar Maarouf, former Minister of Economic Reforms Taoufik Rajhi and Fadhel Abdelkefi.
Its candidates were not included in the proposals of most political parties, which limits the possibility of their victory.
Nabil Karoui’s Qalb Tounes, ranked second in the parliamentary elections (with 38 seats), named University Professor specialized in “multimedia” Lamia Fourati, Ridha Ben Mosbah, Fadhel Abdelkefi and Hakim Ben Hammouda (former ministers in post- 2011 revolution governments).
It is noteworthy that Ben Hammouda has earlier assumed several significant economic positions, including Special Adviser to the President of the African Development Bank, Director of the Training Institute and Division of Technical Cooperation at the World Trade Organization, as well as Chief Economist in the UN Economic Commission.
Some parties have set conditions to give confidence to the figure that will be chosen by Saied.
Head of People's Movement Zuhair al-Maghazawi told Asharq Al-Awsat that his party insists that the candidate shall not be “involved with the previous regime and is familiar with the current economic situation.”
He also announced nominating Mongi Hamdi, Safi Saïd, Hakim Ben Hamouda, and Salah Saieb.