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Ghannouchi has never, will never leave Tunisia, official says

Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rashid Al Ghannouchi attends the 4th congress of Nahda movement student branches at Tunisia University in Tunis, Tunisia on 18 January 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rashid Ghannouchi in Tunis, Tunisia on 18 January 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia Parliamentary Speaker and head of the Ennahda party Rached Ghannouchi "has never and will never think of leaving the country," the Deputy Chairman of the Tunisian Assembly of People's Representatives, Maher Medhioub, said yesterday, denying news that he may have sought treatment abroad.

On Saturday, Ennahda said that Ghannouchi had "suffered a minor health crisis on Saturday night, after which he was transferred to a private health facility, and left it later after carrying out the necessary examinations and receiving treatment."

MP Madhioub wrote on Facebook yesterday that: "Rached Kheriji Ghannouchi/ President of the Assembly of People's Representatives had not asked any country in the world, including the brotherly state of Qatar, to host him under the pretext of treatment, as some claim."

He added that Ghannouchi "is not currently planning to conduct visits abroad, and has never, and will never, think of leaving the country, but rather works with all benefactors for the sake of Tunisia and the advancement of its people."

A week ago, Tunisian President Kais Saied froze parliament for 30 days, lifted the immunity of deputies, dismissed the prime minister and took over the executive and judicial powers.

Saied says that his exceptional measures are based on Article 80 of the constitution and aim to "save the Tunisian state" in light of popular protests against the political, economic and health crises sweeping the country.

However, the majority of parties, including Ennahda rejected the measures, considered it a "coup against the constitution" and the 2011 revolution.

READ: Blaming Ennahda for Tunisia's problems is misleading and won't solve the crisis

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