The issue at stake at the moment is: who will head the national salvation government? Meaning, who will replace current Prime-Minister Ali Laareyedh (Ennahda)? As mentioned in my previous post this one of several issues that need be solved for the current political crisis to end. Another one to be solved is; what should be done with parliament that is almost finished with writing the new constitution?

Let’s start with the first issue, who will head the national salvation government, which has been widely discussed in the media and social media last days. Negotiations and propositions between different political parties and alliances have taken place on a daily scale about who should head the next government. First the rumor spread that a woman might head the national salvation government, Wided Bouchamaoui (see picture above). She is the president of the Tunisian Union of Industry and Commerce, also known by its French acronym as UTICA, and was awarded two months ago the “best Arab woman entrepreneur 2013” . However, she was quick to deny the rumor and pointed out that she will not quit her current job nor does she want to be involved in politics.

According to some news websites, president Marzouki will appoint Wednesday an independent candidate to be the new Prime-Minister and the current one (Ali Laareyedh from Ennahda) and Minister of Interior (Ben Jeddou, independent) will become presidential advisors. It is difficult to verify this report since information is scarce and it seems that all parties involved in the negotiations make sure nothing is leaked.

Other candidates & IMF

Some news websites came up with another “proposed” candidate to be head of the national salvation government, former president of the National Bank Mustapha Kamel Nabli. Although that seems highly unlikely to me because he is not considered an independent candidate concerning the fact that he was a minister in the early 90’s under former president Ben Ali’s regime and was last year already replaced by the current Nahda-led government.

What is more evident is the fact that the IMF will be taking a closer look to the development’s in Tunisia after it approved a 1,7 billion dollar loan to “support the authorities’ economic agenda aimed at strengthening fiscal and external buffers, and fostering higher and more inclusive growth.” Of course, Tunisia had to meet certain conditions related to economic reform before the loan was approved by the IMF. A coincedence or not, all of the candidates that have been coming back in the media until now as possible future Prime-Minister’s – although some of them were mere rumors – have all been proponents of a free market with less to non government interference in economic issues.

In the meanwhile, today four militants have been killed by the Tunisian army close to Kassrine in (continuous) security operations along the Tunisia-Algerian border.