"The wrong political choices of the leadership of the Ennahda movement led to its isolation and failure," 113 senior officials from the party said in a joint statement.

A Tunisian flag flutters outside the building of the Ennahda party headquarters in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 29, 2021.
A Tunisian flag flutters outside the building of the Ennahda party headquarters in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 29, 2021. (Reuters)

More than 100 prominent officials of Tunisia's Ennahda party, including lawmakers and former ministers, have resigned in protest at the leadership's performance, the biggest blow yet to the party which is facing a severe split.

Ennahda, the largest party in parliament, has been thrown into crisis by its response to President Kais Saied's sacking of the government and suspension of parliament on July 25, an intervention the opposition called a coup.

In a statement, 113 senior officials from the party said they had resigned due to wrong choices by Ennahda's leadership, which had led to its isolation and failure to engage in any common front to confront Saied's decisions.

"The wrong political choices of the leadership of the Ennahda movement led to its isolation and failure to actively engage in any common front to resist the imminent authoritarian danger,” the resigned members said in a joint statement.

Among the resignations are eight lawmakers and several former ministers, including former Minister of Health Abdellatif Mekki.

"I feel deeply sad...I feel the pain of separation...but I have no choice after I tried for a long time, especially in recent months...I take responsibility for the decision that I made for my country," Mekki said on Facebook.

READ MORE: If Tunisia falls, democracy dies in the Arab world

Ennahda's waning support

Since Saied's move two months ago, Ennahda officials have demanded that their leader Rached Ghannouchi, the parliament speaker, resign over the party's response to the crisis and strategic choices he has made since a 2019 election.

Ghannouchi last month dismissed the party’s executive committee in an effort to calm the protests against him.

Ennahda has been the most powerful party in Tunisia since the 2011 revolution that led to the ousting of its long-time president, playing a role in backing successive coalition governments.

However, it lost support as the economy stagnated and public services declined. 

READ MORE: 'We want legitimacy': Tunisians demand end to president's seizure of powers

Source: TRTWorld and agencies