Tunisia ruling party lawmakers resign from parliament
TUNIS - Reuters
Hafhed Caid Essebsi, the son of President Beji Caid Essebsi, attends a meeting with Nidaa Tounes party leaders in Tunis, Tunisia November 3, 2015. REUTERS PhotoThirty two Tunisian lawmakers accused President Beji Caid Essebsi’s son of meddling and resigned from the ruling party bloc in parliament yesterday, allowing Islamist rivals to become the largest party.
Tunisia has enjoyed a period of political stability following its transition to democracy after its 2011 uprising ousted autocrat Zine Abidine Ben Ali, but earlier this month brawling broke out between two factions of the Nidaa Tounes party over what critics say were attempts by Essebsi’s son to seize control.
“We decided to resign from the party’s bloc today after the refusal to hold an executive committee meeting, which is the only legitimate structure of the party,” Hassouna Nasfi, one of the protesting deputies told reporters. “We resigned to protest the non-democratic way in which the party has been managed.”
After the resignations, the Ennahda Islamist party has 67 seats and Nidaa Tounes 54 seats in parliament. The resignations may complicate attempts to push through sensitive reforms that Tunisia’s international lenders are demanding to curb public spending.