After being locked for months in a showdown with President Kais Saied,
Islamist-inspired Ennahdha, the biggest party in Tunisia's suspended parliament, on Monday said it was facing a planned "defamation" campaign aimed at shutting it out of national politics.
Sami Triki, advisor of the Ennahda's head and parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi said ; "There is a defamation campaign conducted by some political figures, parties and recently by a former minister on television, during which they made accusations against the movement (of Ennahdha), knowing that they took part in governments, which Ennahdha participated in as well. Today, there is an attempt to exclude (Ennahdha) through relying on the state apparatus."
Ennahdha, an outlawed opposition movement under dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, has been part of, every coalition behind a string of short-lived governments since his ouster in the revolution.
The movement has condemned Saied's July power grab as a "coup d'etat" that puts Tunisia's democratic transition in danger.
It has warned that Saied, who in October moved to rule by decree, was attempting to install a new autocracy.
Saied has repeatedly said, without naming it directly, that Ennahdha will "never return" to power.
Ali Laaryadh, vice president of Ennahdha added; "We will never accept that some Tunisians end up in prison or thrown into the sea. We do not believe in that. We believe in democracy, competition, the result of the ballot box and independent justice. We opt for dialogue and solutions that are in the interest of Tunisia and that have a lower cost. We have have said that the country needs the following; the return of the constitution and parliament and a legitimate government."
Laaryadh, who was prime minister from March 2013 to November 2014, accused unnamed officials of using state bodies and "attempting to pressure the judiciary" to keep Ennahdha out of politics.