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Tunisia: Wanisi heads Ennahda during Ghannouchi's absence

April 27, 2023 at 11:52 am

A view of building of Ennahda Movement in Tunis, Tunisia on April 20, 2023 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian Ennahda Movement announced yesterday that it has appointed its Vice President, Dr. Mundhir Al-Wanisi, to manage its affairs until its leader, Rached Ghannouchi, is released from detention.

The announcement came in a statement issued by the party after a meeting of its executive office. Ennahda said: “We announce to the public that during the absence of the movement’s leader, Mr. Rached Ghannouchi, his deputy, Dr. Mundhir Al-Wanisi, will assume the management of the movement’s affairs.”

It went on to call for the release of all detainees and end the practice of repression and retribution. It also warned of the danger of violating the constitution and international conventions by restricting the activities of political parties, civil society organisations, and the freedom of peaceful organisation and demonstration.

It emphasised “its ongoing efforts to unite the forces of the country, restore the democratic path, focus on economic and social reforms and counter the course of dictatorship consolidation and the curtailment of freedoms.”

On 17 April, Ennahda announced that a security squad stormed Ghannouchi’s home, and took him to an unknown destination. He was later interrogated without his lawyer president.

READ: Ghannouchi boycotts interrogation sessions

Later, the security forces stormed Ennahda’s headquarters following a press conference by the party regarding the arrest of Ghannouchi. The forces closed the headquarters and banned meetings from taking place there in the future.

Ghannouchi has opposed the exceptional measures imposed by President Kais Saied on 25 July 2021, including dissolving the Supreme Judicial Council and Parliament.

Al-Wanisi, 56, is a professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Tunis, who joined the Ennahda Movement in 1984. He was elected as a member of the Shura Council during the tenth general conference held in 2016.

In 2021, Al-Wanisi became a member of the Ennahda Executive Office, and since August 2021, he has served as deputy leader of the Ennahda movement.