New Governmental Coalition Leaves Opposition Numerically Weak in Parliament

The adherence of six parties to the new governmental coalition gave the head of the Government Saad Eddine El Othmani a comfortable majority of 240 seats out of 395, leaving the opposition to liberal PAM with 102 seats.

Numerically weak, PAM will be facing a government coalition with a sweeping majority composed of the PJD (125 seats), the RNI (37), MP (27), USFP (20), UC (19) and the PPS (12).

The Istiqlal Party (PI) with 46 seats is at odds with PAM and is unlikely to form a united front in the face of the parliamentary majority. The PI has also promised to support the new governmental majority at the Parliament.

In light of the lack of experience of most PAM MPs- two thirds of whom are in the Parliament for the first time- only the two MPs of the Federation of Democratic Left (FGD) are expected to express outspoken opposition to the new government.

Yet, prospects for a stronger opposition in the Upper House are promising. The members of the Upper House where PAM takes lead are expected to express the opposition’s voice.

Along with PAM, the Upper House also gives a podium to unions and the federation of Moroccan employers (CGEM) to challenge the government on economic and social policies.

El Othmani, after a nine-day negotiations, managed to end the deadlock left by his predecessor Abdelilah Benkirane whose negotiations to form a new government stalled in view of his position against the inclusion of the leftist USFP in the new government.

The current governmental coalition shows once again that the ideological referential of political parties has been swept by narrow calculations. A coalition between the Islamists, liberals and socialists is showing to what extent political parties in Morocco are losing credential thus becoming copies of each other. Liberal PAM and conservative PI will be in the opposition. Neither the opposition nor the coalition show homogeneity in terms of ideology though they espouse more or less the same reforms.

The fragmentation of Morocco’s political landscape makes no party able to win an outright majority. To secure the majority of seats, coalition between several parties is necessary, putting the distribution of ministerial portfolios on a rocky road, not to speak of compromises on the policies of the different partners in the future government.

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