After a decade leading the government, the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) has suffered a strong defeat in the legislative elections held in Morocco, which gave the victory to the liberal centrist National Regrouping of Independents (RNI) party. According to provisional results with 96% scrutiny announced by Interior Minister Abdeluafi Laftit, the Justice and Development Party went from first to eighth place and won only 12 seats out of 395 in the House of Representatives (lower house).
The winner of the elections was the RNI, which jumped from fourth to first place with 97 seats, followed by the liberal Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), which won 82 seats, and the nationalist and historic Istiqlal Party (PI), with 78, while the Justice and Development Party was left with 12, compared to the 125 it obtained in 2016.
With a participation of 50.3% (8.7 million voters), eight percentage points more than in the last elections, the results of the elections thus put an end to the dominance that the Islamist party held since the Arab Spring of 2011, due to the wear and tear of the formation and internal divisions, as well as the new electoral system that harms the large parties. In Western Sahara the highest participation was registered, which ranged between 58 and 66 percent, while in the largest city and economic capital of the country, Casablanca, the lowest was registered, 41%.
The RNI is led by one of the richest men in Morocco
The winning party, made up of notables, businessmen and senior officials from the Administration, is led by the current Minister of Agriculture, Aziz Ajanuch, the second richest man in the country after the king, and must now seek alliances to form a government and reach the 198 seats that make up the absolute majority.
Ajanuch will appear this noon at a press conference to comment on his victory and on the election night, hours before the announcement of the results, he only made a brief statement to the media to congratulate himself on the high turnout, which translated into the Moroccans’ willingness to change. after ten years of Islamist rule.
“The people want an alternative,” said the one who could be the next president of the Moroccan government, who advanced that this will for political change would be reflected in the results of the elections.
For their part, the PJD leaders denounced an alleged electoral fraud, alleging a massive purchase of votes that, they said, had already been brought to the attention of the courts, and protested that they were not provided with the voting records of the different tables. electoral. “The minutes have been delivered to all the auditors of the different political parties,” said the Interior Minister in his appearance to announce the results.
Some of the Islamist leaders also advanced to the press that if they do not win the elections, the PJD will probably go to the opposition, all pending what their executive decides at the meeting scheduled for this morning.
The debacle of the Islamist party is such that not even the outgoing Prime Minister, Saadedin Otmani, won any seats.
Waiting for the results of the local elections
Legislative, regional and local elections were held on the same election day, but the results of the latter will be communicated in the next few hours. Most likely, the PJD will lose the mayoralty of the cities where it governs: Rabat, Salé, Tanger, Kenitra, Meknés, Marrakech and Agadir.
The elections took place after a reform of the electoral law approved last March in which the barrier of 3% of votes to obtain seats was eliminated, as well as the way in which they are distributed, which has resulted in a loss of seats for larger parties.
Most of the parties, except the two that came first in the last elections (the PJD and the PAM), won seats, such as the RNI, which has 60 more, or the Istiqlal, which has gone from 46 to 78.
Another surprise has been the rise of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces, which now has 35 seats, 15 more, and the former Communist Progress and Socialism Party (PPS), which has won 6 to 12 seats.
In the elections, according to the Interior Minister, 5,020 observers participated, 129 of them foreigners, who will present their conclusions this Thursday and Friday.