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On Nov. 1, a party meeting in Hammamet devolved into violence between the two factions, with Marzouk supporters accusing Hafedh of trying to usurp leadership of the party.Divisions within Nidaa Tounes are not new. Nidaa was formed in 2012 by Beji Caid Essebsi as a counterweight to the then-ruling Ennahda Party. Nidaa, which won 86 seats in the 2014 parliamentary elections, was forced to form a coalition government. Left-wing members and their allies wanted Nidaa Tounes to eschew an alliance with Ennahda and instead ally with the Free Patriotic Union, the Popular Front, and independents. In their view, a coalition government that included Ennahda betrayed Tunisian voters who saw Nidaa as an alternative to Ennahda. In early March 2015, conflict resurfaced when former party spokesman Lazher Akremi announced that Hafedh Caid Essebsi, Assembly of People's Representatives (ARP) President Mohammad Ennaceur, and Nidaa Tounes parliamentary bloc President Fadhel Omran would all be excluded from the Constituent Committee on the grounds that founders of the party cannot legally be part of that body. With the defection of 31 Nidaa Tounes members from its bloc, the coalition would retain a majority (148 seats) within the parliament, but Nidaa Tounes would cede its leading role within the parliamentary coalition to Ennahda.A split within Nidaa Tounes would likely hurt public trust in the government, and in Nidaa Tounes in particular.
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