September 18, 2021

Morocco’s preparations for a parliamentary vote put the fate of the ruling Islamic Party at stake.

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Morocco will go to the polls on Wednesday for parliamentary and local elections, which will determine the fate of the Islamist party that has ruled since the Arab Spring uprising.

First elected in 2011, moderate. Islamist The Justice and Development Party (PJD) hopes to win a third term this year, and remains in power as coalition leader for a decade.

But there are clear lines of battle between the PJD’s coalition partners and the opposition, and major decisions in key policy areas such as agriculture, energy and industry are in the king’s hands. محمد ششم۔

I am not allowed to vote. Morocco Near the time of the election, but a survey by the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis in February showed that about 64% of people intend to abstain.

Ahmed Bose, a professor of political science, “highlighted the feeling among voters that elected officials have very little time to make decisions.”

He added that people were still skeptical about whether it would make a difference to run the country even after the 2011 constitutional reforms.

Morocco adopted the new constitution after decades of wrangling over the king’s role in the separation of powers and the day-to-day running of the country.

The local version of the Arab Spring uprisings around the Middle East and North Africa, prepared in response to the February 20 movement, brought the country closer to a constitutional monarchy without abandoning the monarch’s central role.

King above.

Regardless of who holds the elected position, big decisions come from the palace, including during. Corona virus Crisis.

Due to the extent of the Crown’s powers, some local media outlets are mocking the PJD’s efforts to take credit for its recent successes.

Muhammad VI has already announced plans for a “new model of development” with a “new generation of reforms and projects” in the coming years.

All parties are expected, regardless of who wins the election.

Major objectives of the plan include reducing the country’s wealth gap and doubling per capita economic output by 2035.

“Important guidelines have been set and elections only work to create a political elite that is capable of implementing them,” said political scientist Muhammad Checker.

During the election campaign, most parties have ignored the issues of individual freedom, especially the appeal by some activists to outlaw sex is a divisive issue in Morocco.

“It’s disappointing but not surprising that politicians are ignoring our appeal.”

Currently, three major movements dominate the political scene: the PJD, the National Independent Rally (RNI) and the Truth and Modernity Party (PAM).

‘Increasing the distance’

In the run-up to the vote, accusations of illegal campaign spending, rather than policy debates, have dominated the headlines.

Abdul Aziz Afti, a senior PJD official, said on Saturday without naming the alleged culprits, “A huge amount of money has been spent to thwart the will of the people.”

The PAM has been more direct, led by billionaire businessman and Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhnovich, accusing the RNI of “flooding the political landscape with money”.

RNI, a junior member of the current coalition, said it “explicitly denied” the allegations.

Political scientist Mustafa Sahimi said the mudslinging aside, and little to differentiate between parties, the election was “widening the gap between voters and institutions.”

Even the 45% electoral turnout in 2016 was “good surprise” after only 43%.

The change in the voting system means that Moroccans will vote in parliamentary and local elections on the same day for the first time in an effort to increase turnout.

About 18 million voters will vote for 395 deputies and more than 31,000 local and regional representatives.

Meanwhile, the parties’ seats in the seats will be calculated on the basis of registered voters, rather than those who are actually casting their vote, in an amendment that favors smaller parties.

On the same vote share as in 2016, the new system will leave the PJD with around 80 seats, instead of the 125 it won last time.

(AFP)

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