Ennahda party says leader faces politically motivated police investigation

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Tunisia’s Islamist opposition party Ennahda on Wednesday accused the authorities of attempting to intimidate opponents, saying police had opened a new investigation into its leader Rached Ghannouchi.

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The party said Ghannouchi was being investigated on suspicion of describing the security forces as tyrannical, and it denied that he had said this.

Tunisian politics has grown more acrimonious over the past year since President Kais Saied dismissed parliament and seized most powers last year, enshrining them in a new constitution that was passed in a referendum last week.

He said his moves were necessary to save Tunisia from years of political failure. Ennahda and other parties describe them as a coup and say Saied’s new constitution and the referendum, in which official figures say 30 percent of Tunisians voted, are illegal.

Last month, Ghannouchi was put before a judge to answer questions in a separate investigation into money laundering, which he and Ennahda also deny, calling the accusations bogus political targeting.

“What is happening is a new episode of targeting and intimidating political figures opposed to the coup and a ridiculous attempt to fabricate a lie,” Ennahda said.

Interior Ministry officials declined to comment.

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