Eleven more deputies in Tunisia’s Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP) resigned from Nidaa Tounes on Monday, joining Mohsen Marzouk’s as of yet unnamed breakaway political movement.
The resignations bring Nidaa Tounes bloc within the ARP down to 58 seats, compared to Ennahda’s 69, Marzouk’s bloc now claims 28 seats and is firmly established as the third largest voting bloc within the ARP, ahead of the UPL (16 seats) and Afek Tounes (8 seats).
42 former members of Nidaa Tounes have also resigned from the party’s executive committee.
Mohsen Marzouk, the former secretary general of Nidaa Tounes, announced Wednesday January 6 that he intends to officially form a new political party on March 2. The date of March 2 coincides with the 82nd anniversarry of the creation of the Neo-Destour party. Neo-Destour was formed when Tunisia’s independence leader and first President Habib Bourguiba broke away from the Destour party.
The resignations mark the formalization of a split between factions in the party loyal to its former Secretary General Mohsen Marzouk, who defected late last year 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.