Victory for the RNI, crushing defeat for PJD Islamists in Morocco’s parliamentary elections

Moroccan social democrat party RNI won a slight majority, followed by its PAM counterpart, and conservative Istiqlal in the parliamentary elections in which voters dealt a heavy blow to the PJD.

RNI won 97 seats, PAM 82, Istiqlal 78, socialist USFP 35, while MP took 26 seats, the UC 18 and the PJD came eighth with only 12 seats. Other parties had 12 seats.

Turnout in the legislatives indicated a renewed interest in politics. 50.35% of Morocco’s electorate voted compared to 43% in 2016.

Turnout was as high as 66.9% in Laayoune in Morocco’s Sahara.

The irony of elections was that the PJD opposed a law favoring small parties and making it harder for big parties to gain as many seats.

Without this new electoral law that changes the way seats are allocated on the basis of registered voters instead of casted ballot, the PJD could have won even less than 12 seats.

The results signal the end of an era for the PJD which led the coalition governments in Morocco for ten years and which has now joined the club of small parties in parliament.

The vote is a punishment for the PJD which failed to meet the aspirations of the people and fell short of materializing its promises.

The party was perceived as too inefficient and its leadership had disappointed by its lack of insight and proactiveness especially in the vital fields of economic and social policies.

Under the 2011 constitution, the King appoints the head of the government from the party that won most seats. This means the RNI will have to start coalition talks to form a new cabinet that has to implement the recommendations of Morocco’s development model to curb poverty, inequalities and boost growth.

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