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Nigeria Ruling Party Says Yar'Adua out of Hospital

Nigerian President Uamru Yar'Adua (file photo)

Nigerian President Uamru Yar'Adua (file photo)

Nigeria's ruling party says President Umaru Yar'Adua has been discharged from a Saudi hospital, though it did not say when he will return to Nigeria.

Reports earlier this month said Mr. Yar'Adua had left the King Faisal Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and was staying in VIP quarters attached to the facility.

A statement from Nigeria's ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) late Tuesday confirmed the president has been discharged from the hospital and said he expressed hope of returning home as soon as possible.

Mr. Yar'Adua has made no appearances and has given only one brief radio interview since being flown to Saudi Arabia November 23.

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan has assumed effective control of the government in his absence.

Officials have said Mr. Yar'Adua is suffering from a heart condition, acute peridcarditis. The president is also known to have a chronic kidney ailment and has traveled abroad several times in the past for medical treatment.

A federal court ruled last week that Jonathan can carry out presidential duties while Mr. Yar'Adua is away without a formal transfer of power.

However, federal judges are still considering three lawsuits seeking to have Jonathan sworn in as acting president.

Opposition groups have expressed fears of a power vacuum in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and a major oil producer.

Officials have said repeatedly that the president is improving and talking to aides on the phone.