Tunisian parliament speaker under threat of assassination

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Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi attends the presentation of government ministers put forward by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi in the capital Tunis on January 26, 2021. (AFP)
Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi attends the presentation of government ministers put forward by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi in the capital Tunis on January 26, 2021. (AFP)

An adviser to Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi warned Thursday of “a serious assassination threat” against Ghannouchi.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Riyad al-Suaybi said he received information from officials from the Ministry of Interior who came to Ghannouchi’s office in the Tunisian Parliament.

“There is a serious threat of assassination against the speaker of the parliament,” he said, adding officials will strengthen measures to protect Gannouchi.

“If we want to know who could be involved in or benefit from such a criminal plot, we must remember the political and national significance of Ghannouchi as one of the symbols of the democratic transition in Tunisia,” he said.

“Those who target the democratic transition in Tunisia are also those who plan to assassinate the speaker of the assembly,” he added.

The Interior Ministry has yet to issue a statement on the issue.

Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring revolutions that swept the leaders of several Arab countries from power in 2011.

Ghannouchi, who has served as parliament speaker since Nov. 13, 2019, is one of the most prominent political figures in the country who opposed the rule of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011).

After 20 years in exile, Ghannouchi returned to Tunisia on Jan. 14, 2011.

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