Oral history interview with Chedly Ayari, 2015
Chedly Ayari is Professor Emeritus, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Economics and Management of Tunis, Associate Professor at the University of Aix-Marseille and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. He has held the position of Central Bank Governor since 2012. He was Minister of Planning (1969-70), Minister of Youth and Sports (1970), Minister of National Education (1970-71) and Minister of the Economy (1972-74) under Habib Bourguiba.
Scope and Contents
Chedly Ayari describes his role as a senator under the Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime and how after the revolution, he suggested that the old constitution be amended, instead of drafting a new one. He also recommended that the former prime minister be dismissed and an emergency government created, which had worked for Poland during its political crisis. Ayari's tenure as minister under Habib Bourguiba enabled his understanding of the 2010-2011 protesters' demands for regional equality. Ayari describes his unexpected recruitment to the Central Bank in 2012. In turn, he recruited Mehdi Jomaa to be Minister of Industry under former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali. Jomaa was reluctant to accept, but Ayari convinced him at a meeting in Paris. Ayari also narrates his experience governing alongside Jomaa, their occasional disagreements, Jomaa's strengths, and Ayari's ultimate advocacy for Jomaa to stay in government past his mandate.
Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2015.