Mohamed Ennaceur, speaker of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP), formally recognized the rebalancing of the ARP’s parliamentary blocs. The most significant change is the emergence of the Al-Horra bloc, which results from a split within Nidaa Tounes.
— مجلس نوّاب الشعب (@ARPtn) January 26, 2016
Amongst other announcements, including Nidaa Tounes losing its status as the largest party bloc after being eclipsed by Ennahda, the current ARP seat distribution is as follows:
Ennahda | 69 seats
Nidaa Tounes | 64 seats
Al Horra | 22 seats
Newly formed from former Nidaa Tounes deputies, most of whom resigned during Nidaa Tounes’s disastrous party congress in Sousse earlier this month.
Popular Front | 15 seats
UPL | 15 seats
Noureddine Ben Achour replaced Mohsen Hassan as the head of the UPL’s bloc after the latter became the Minister of Commerce. The UPL bloc also lost a seat following the resignation of Youssef Jouini.
Afek Tounes | 10 seats
Afek Tounes gained two deputies. Afek also announced it had changed its name to the Afek Tounes National Movement and Call to Tunisians Abroad or “Bloc d’Afek Tounes, le mouvement Nationale et l’appel des tunisiens à l’étranger”
Social Democrats | 10 seats
The remaining 12 members of the 217 seat ARP are independent deputies.
The resignations from Nidaa Tounes marked the formalization of a long running rift between factions of Nidaa Tounes loyal to its former Secretary General Mohsen Marzouk, who resigned in late 2015 over claims Hafedh Essebsi, son of Tunisia’s President and party founder Beji Caid Essebsi, was attempting a hereditary takeover of the party’s leadership. Party loyalists, on the other hand, claim it is Marzouk’s own presidential ambitions which have caused the rift.
Marzouk added that the, as of yet unnamed party, would be launched on March 2, 2016. A date which would coincide with the 82nd anniversary of founding of the Neo-Destour party. The Neo-Destour was formed and headed by Tunisia’s independence leader Habib Bourguiba after he (Bourguiba) split from the Destour party. For now at least the parliamentary bloc formed by his supporters will now participate as the Al-Horra bloc while awaiting a party name.