Rached Ghannouchi, the speaker of Tunisia’s parliament and the leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which has dominated the country for a decade, left the hospital hours after he was admitted.
In the midst of a severe political crisis, he was hospitalized on Sunday, according to two aides.
Ghannouchi, 80, has spearheaded the opposition to President Kais Saied’s seizure of governing powers, dismissal of the prime minister, and suspension of parliament last week, which the Ennahda leader promptly labeled a coup.
Ghannouchi was hospitalized for a week last month with COVID-19, but his advisers would not reveal what was wrong with him.
“After a few hours in the military hospital, Ghannouchi returned home and he is finenow”, an advisor said.
Ennahda was suppressed prior to the 2011 democratic revolution, but it has since become the most prominent political party in the country, supporting consecutive coalition administrations and helping to agree on the 2014 constitution.
However, economic stagnation, deteriorating services, and popular perceptions of rising corruption have eroded its support, and Saied’s surprise announcement on Sunday looks to have considerable support.
Ghannouchi, who was brought to the hospital for a brief period on Saturday before being released, is facing internal Ennahda criticism over both his handling of the immediate situation and his strategic decisions since the 2019 election.
The current crisis, according to party officials, is the worst Ennahda has faced since 2011, and a rising number of members have called on Ghannouchi to go. He abruptly rescheduled a meeting of the party’s powerful Choura council on Friday.