Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Tunisia Probes Ghannouchi for 'Conspiracy'

Tunisia Probes Ghannouchi for 'Conspiracy'

Saturday, 2 April, 2022 - 05:45
Tunisia's Speaker of the Parliament Rached Ghannouchi flashes the victory sign as he arrives for questioning at the judicial police headquarters in the capital Tunis, on April 1, 2022. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)

The speaker of Tunisia's dissolved parliament was questioned Friday over allegations of "conspiracy against state security", after lawmakers met online in defiance of President Kais Saied.

Rached Ghannouchi, the 81-year-old speaker who also heads Ennahdha party, attended in response to Thursday's summons from judicial authorities of the anti-terrorism unit, the parliament's leadership said in a statement.

An AFP photographer said Ghannouchi left the judicial premises in Tunis after about an hour of questioning.

He is accused of "having plotted against state security", said party spokesman Imed Khemiri, who was also summoned, dismissing the charge as setting a "dangerous precedent".

Ghannouchi has said at least 30 parliamentarians have been summoned for questioning by anti-terrorism police.

The president dissolved parliament on Wednesday, dealing another blow to the political system in place since 2011.

It came eight months after Saied sacked the government, froze parliament and seized sweeping powers, later moving to rule by decree in moves opponents have dubbed a "coup".

The president's latest decision came hours after MPs held a plenary session online -- their first since Saied's power grab -- and voted through a bill against his "exceptional measures".

Ghannouchi, who did not attend the session, subsequently rejected Saied's dissolution of parliament.

Editor Picks