According to AFP, thirty lawmakers from Tunisia's majority political party Nidaa Tounes have suspended their membership this week in protest to what they believe are attempts from the President's son to consolidate power under himself within the party.
The Nidaa Tounes party was elected as the majority party in Tunisia's parliament in 2014, winning 86 out of the 217 seats. Nidaa Tounes, meaning "Call of Tunisia", was meant to be representative of a new, secular Tunisia, used frequently as one of the few success stories in the Middle East following the Arab Spring. However, the exit of these members could destabilize Tunisia.
There has reportedly been a schism within Nidaa Tounes, and infighting has divided the party into two main factions: one led by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi's son Hafedh and the other by Secretary General Mohsen Marzouk.
Recently, reports surfaced alleging that pro-Marzouk members of the Nidaa Tounes party were prevented from attending a meeting of the political party's executive committee last week. Attempts by the president to meet and discuss the episode were unsuccessful.
The thirty lawmakers, supporters of Marzouk, threaten to permanently leave the parliamentary bloc if another executive committee meeting is not scheduled in one week.
Their exit would threaten the majority of the Nidaa Tounes party and potentially lead to the plurality of the minority party, Ennahda.
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