Tunisia: Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry Into Suspected Conflict of Interest Involving PM Installed

The Tunisian Constituent Assembly in 2012.

Tunis/Tunisia — The parliamentary inquiry committee on the situation of conflict of interest and suspected corruption involving Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh has been set up.

Speaking at after its installation, Speaker of the House of People's Representatives Rached Ghannouchi said the committee will prepare a report which it will submit to the HPR Bureau.

The latter must present it to the plenary session for discussion, in accordance with Rule 100 of the parliament's rules of procedure, he pointed out.

"The committee's action is part of the Parliament's oversight role. It also constitutes a new democratic exercise and a step forward in the democratic process in Tunisia," Ghannouchi said.

The Speaker of the Parliament stressed that the committee's work will retain the interest of public opinion because its results will be decisive for the political landscape, reads a statement from the HPR.

The creation of this committee of inquiry is part of the decision taken by the parliament's bureau on July 4, after examining, last June 25, a request submitted to this effect, in accordance with Article 60 of the Constitution and Article 98 of the parliament's rules of procedure.

Under these articles, the opposition majority can set up a committee of inquiry to examine a specific subject once a year, without the HPR bureau having any discretionary power on the principle of setting up the committee.

The composition of the inquiry committee is as follows:

-Yadh Elloumi (Qalb Tounes bloc) Chairman

-Hichem Ajbouni (Democratic bloc) Vice-President

-Faisal Derbel (Ennahdha bloc) rapporteur

-Mondher Ben Attia (Al-Karama Coalition) Deputy Rapporteur

-Hatem Mensi (Reform bloc) Deputy Rapporteur

Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh had indicated in a TV interview last June 14 he owned 20% of the shares in a company operating in the environmental sector and having a contract with the State.

Fakhfakh considered that this is not a conflict of interest. This has caused controversy insofar as keeping his shares in that company contradicts with the provisions of Articles 18 and 20 of Law No. 2018-46 of August 1, 2018, on the declaration of assets and interests, the fight against illicit enrichment and conflict of interest in the public sector.

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