Skip to main content

Tunisia coup: Ennahda leader Ghannouchi leaves hospital

Ghannouchi had been leading opposition against President Kais Saied who had fired the Tunisian prime minister and suspended parliament
Ghannouchi's advisers did not say why the Tunisian parliament speaker was admitted to hospital (AFP)

Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia's largest opposition party Ennahda, left hospital on Monday after he was admitted on Sunday, two aides confirmed. 

Ghannouchi, who serves as the speaker of the Tunisian parliament, has been leading the opposition against President Kais Saied who fired Tunisia's prime minister and suspended its parliament. 

His advisers did not say what was wrong with Ghannouchi, who was hospitalised for a week last month with Covid-19.

"After a few hours in the military hospital, Ghannouchi returned home and he is fine now," an adviser said.

The 80-year-old's aide Ahmed Gaaloul told AFP the elderly leader has worked 16 to 18 hours per day since Saied's power grab. 

"[Ghannouchi] suffered a little malaise earlier in the day and had to go to a clinic to be examined," Gaaloul said on Saturday. 

Tunisia: Kais Saied's coup could see army step out of the shadows
Read More »

"During the check-up, he was told there was nothing serious...[and he] was not hospitalised and has nothing serious."

 "A doctor prescribed some medication for him and he is now back home [and] Mr Ghannouchi is a little tired at this time." 

Last Sunday, Saied enacted article 80 of the Tunisian constitution and fired Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and suspended parliament for 30 days. 

Since his power grab, Saied has been criticised for detaining journalists and arresting two opposition MPs from the Al-Karama party who dubbed the president's power move as a "military coup".

He has also imprisoned hundreds of businessmen on corruption charges and launched an investigation into alleged illegal funding of political parties, including Ennahda. 

Before being admitted to the hospital, Ghannouchi claimed that the United Arab Emirates was behind the Tunisian power grab. 

Ghannouchi told the Times newspaper the Gulf country was determined to "finish off" the Arab Spring, the 2011 uprisings that saw long-term rulers overthrown across the region. 

Ghannouchi urged for a return to democracy and said his party was ready to make all concessions to solve the country's political crisis. 

"We are always ready for all concessions in the context of a return to democracy, and not the imposition of dictatorship and a coup," said Ghannouchi.