Tunisia’s ruling Nidaa Tounes party has been dealt with another internal crisis over resignations and membership suspensions.
Four members have reportedly handed in their resignation while 16 others have requested the suspension of their memberships. The moves are seen as a protest against the non-adoption of the competence criterion in assigning responsibilities within the Bureau of the Parliament and the composition of committees.
Chairman of Nidaa Tounes, Sofiene Toubel, denied the extent of the crisis saying that only one member of parliament “made a request for resignation” while two others “reconsidered their decision to resign”.
Toubel explained that “the rules of the parliament contain no mention of group membership freeze” and the request of the 16 members of the party cannot be considered because according to the rules, a lawmaker either belongs to a group or resigns.
The internal disputes indicate the fragility of Tunisia’s political climate and the newly formed coalition government which is expected to help the country move on from its turbulent transition period which has lasted more than five years.
The country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015 after an attack on a presidential guard bus left 12 dead and injured 20. The state of emergency was extended yesterday for a further three months by President Beji Caid Essebsi till 19 January 2017 following consultations with the Speaker of the Parliament and the prime minister.