Friday, September 24

Islamists suffer spectacular defeat to liberals in Moroccan elections


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The ruling Islamist party Morocco For a decade it suffered a spectacular defeat to liberal parties, considered close to royalty, in the legislative elections on Wednesday, according to preliminary results released Thursday.

The Justice and Development Party (PJD, a moderate Islamist) went from 125 seats to 12, out of 395 deputies, according to data released by the Interior Minister, Abdelouafi Laftit.

With this, the PJD was far from its main rivals, National Association of Independents (RNI), Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), both liberals, and the Center-right Istiqlal Party. RNI won 97 seats, followed by PAM with 82 and Istiqlal with 78.

The RNI, which is part of the government coalition, is led by wealthy businessman Aziz Akhannouch, identified as close to the palace. While the PAM, the main opposition party, was founded in 2008 by the current royal councilor, Fouad Ali El Himma. The Istiqlal (Independence) is the oldest party in Morocco.

The magnitude of the defeat of the Islamists was unexpected in the country. Despite the absence of polls, the media and analysts expected the PJD to remain among the first places. In fact, the party expected fight for a third term consecutive to the head of the Moroccan government.

The king Mohamed VI It must designate a head of government of the party that heads the legislative scrutiny, who will head the Executive for a period of five years to replace Saad-Eddine El Othmani, secretary general of the PJD. The final results should be known later on Thursday. The rate of participation reached 50.35%, according to the Minister of the Interior, higher than 43% of the previous legislative elections, of 2016.

It is the first time that I have close 18 million voters Moroccans chose their 395 deputies at the same time as their communal and regional representatives, which helped reduce abstentionism. The 2015 local elections had a 53% turnout.

In 2011, Morocco adopted a new constitution that granted great prerogatives to the Parliament and the government. Still, decisions and directions in key sectors continue to emanate from King Mohamed VI’s initiatives.

The Islamists denounced «serious irregularities“In the process, including the” obscene distribution of money “near the polling stations and” confusion “in some electoral lists where people could not find their names. However, Laftit said that the elections were held “under normal circumstances”, despite some “isolated cases”.

The end of the short electoral campaign, marked by the absence of large rallies due to Covid-19, was marred by accusations of vote buying. The current elections are the first time that Morocco distributes the legislative seats based on the number of registered voters and the number of voters. This new form of calculation should favor small parties to the detriment of large formations.

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