Political Risk Analysis - Popular Anti-Corruption Campaign Not Risk-Free For The Government - OCT 2017


BMI View: Prime Minister Youssef Chahed ' s ongoing clampdown on corruption in Tunisia will be welcomed by international investors and multilateral creditors, and will boost the government ' s popularity among the population. That said, it could result in a backlash at a later stage from the population if the government fails to deliver on the campaign or from the political establishment if it exposes key personalities.

We view the Tunisian government's ongoing anti-corruption campaign as a positive step to boost the country's attractiveness to international investors and multilateral creditors, and to consolidate the nascent democracy. That said, much more steps are to be taken, while Prime Minister Youssef Chahed's popularity over the coming months will be highly contingent on the trajectory and success of the anti-corruption campaign.

Since May 2017, intense anti-corruption campaigns have been accompanied by a series of investigations and arrests targeting businessmen, politicians, members of the security forces and customs officers. While this is not the first anti-corruption campaign launched in Tunisia since the 2011 popular revolution that overthrew former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali - most governments have at some point tried to address this widespread issue - this campaign has been characterised by its intensity. In particular, the arrest of Chafik Jarraya, a businessman who has also played a key role in financing political party Nidaa Tounes and is believed to operate smuggling networks in the south of the country, has shown that the government will not hesitate to target influential personalities.

Corruption Worsened Following The Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia - Ranking In Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index
Note: Higher rank denotes worse corruption. Source: Transparency International, BMI

This article is part of our North Africa coverage. To access this article subscribe now or sign up for free trial