Tunis: The head of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday said that they were dismayed at their poor performance in the elections in Tunisia for a constituent assembly.

“We were surprised by our underperformance and the cause lies with us, and with the people of Tunisia,” Ahmad Nejib Chebbi said. “We respect the choice of the people and do not challenge the elections process. We will not be part of the majority, but we will be part of the democratic opposition, be it in the drafting of the constitution or in running in the country,” he told the media in Tunis.

Maya Jribi, the party secretary general, said that the results did not reflect the efforts exerted by the political group.

“We will look carefully into the reasons for this failure and will analyse them,” she said. “We do appreciate however the massive participation of the people in the elections and which exceeded all expectations,” said Maya, the only woman to lead a political party in Tunisia.

The PDP, a secular liberal political party founded under the name of Progressive Socialist Rally in 1983, gained legal recognition in 1988 and was renamed Progressive Democratic Party in 2001.

Chebbi was named Regional Development Minister in the first interim government formed three days after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the country’s president, fled Tunisia on January 14.