TUNIS, Aug. 1 (Reuters) – Tunisian parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party that has played an influential national role for a decade, left hospital hours after
was admitted on Sunday, two advisers said, amid a major political crisis.
Ghannouchi, 80, has led opposition to President Kais Saied’s decision last week to seize governing powers, sack the prime minister and freeze parliament, steps the Ennahda leader quickly called coup d’etat.
His advisers did not say what was wrong with Ghannouchi, who was hospitalized for a week last month with COVID-19.
“After a few hours in the military hospital, Ghannouchi returned home and he is fine now,” said an adviser.
Suppressed before the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy, Ennahda has since been the most powerful political party, supporting successive coalition governments and helping to adopt the 2014 constitution.
However, economic stagnation, declining services and public perception of increased corruption have shaken his support, and Saied’s sudden statement on Sunday appears to have broad support.
Ghannouchi, who was also briefly taken to hospital on Saturday and then released from the hospital, faces internal dissensions within Ennahda both over his handling of the immediate crisis and over his strategic choices since the elections. 2019.
Party figures see the current crisis as the biggest Ennahda has faced since 2011 and a growing number of members have called on Ghannouchi to step down. On Friday, he promptly postponed a meeting of the party’s powerful Shura council.
Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Chris Reese, Daniel Wallis and Kim Coghill
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