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The end of the “Arab Spring” era in Morocco

Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit said in a press conference that the Justice and Development Party, which has led the ruling coalition for ten years, appears to be heading to move from 125 seats in parliament to just 12.

Instead, it was the parties most closely associated with the royal family that had great success. The National Assembly for the Oberoi (RNI) and the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) have 97 and 82 seats respectively, while the conservative Istiqlal Party holds 78 seats in Parliament, which has 395 seats in total.

And the election results do not change the fact that Morocco is practically ruled by King Mohammed VI and the circle around him, according to Salwa Zerhouni, a professor of political science in the capital, Rabat.

The monarchy will continue to dominate the political parties, undermine the authority of the government and parliament, and position itself as the only effective political institution, She told the New York Times,.

pretends to cheat

To a large extent, the radical redrawing of the parliamentary map can be explained by a new election law passed by the Minister of the Interior – appointed by the King – earlier this year. In practical terms, this simply means that seats are distributed in a way that makes it more difficult for the big parties than before – and with a more divided parliament, the king benefits. The AKP complained that it appeared to be specifically designed to hit them, and also claimed that there was electoral fraud.

Mohammed VI was previously seen as having grown in reputation during the pandemic.

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“Most of the decisions to limit the social and economic effects of the epidemic are related to the central government and the monarchy,” said Salwa Zerhouni.

Or as Muhammad Mesbah, head of a research center in the country says Reuters news agency :

– In Morocco, the credit goes to the monarchy while the government is to blame.

half voice

It also fuels voter apathy. The turnout this time around, just over 50 percent, is relatively high, and this can be explained by the increased participation in local and regional elections that were held at the same time as the parliamentary elections. In other parliamentary elections in recent years, turnout has fallen by 40%.

The AK will be greatly regressed to a large extent still surprising experience. It can be seen as another nail in the coffin of the “Arab Spring”.

Moderate Islamist forces gained more strength in Morocco after democratic protests in North Africa and the Middle East a decade ago, as well as in neighboring Tunisia, while the more hardline Muslim Brotherhood in the form of President Mohamed Morsi took power in Egypt. Now all those changes have been undone — Morsi was overthrown in a coup early in 2013, and in Tunisia, President Kais Saied dissolved the Islamist-controlled parliament in July of this year.

Moroccans went to the polls on Wednesday. Photo: Abdeljalil Bonhar/AP/TT

Facts: Morocco

Morocco is the far northwest of Africa. It has a long land border to the east of Algeria, but it is nonetheless closed due to differences between the two countries. Morocco also has a part of the European Union, in the form of the Spanish regions of Ceuta and Melilla on the Mediterranean coast.

Morocco is slightly larger than Sweden, 460,000 square kilometers. The country also claims another 250,000 square kilometres, in the form of the disputed Western Sahara in the south.

The capital is Rabat, but the other two major cities, Casablanca and Marrakesh, are known all over the world.

On paper, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy, like Sweden, a country in which the head of state – a king or queen – has limited and rigidly regulated power. But in practice, the King of Morocco has a great influence on the formation of the government, among other things, and is the most powerful force in the country.

Source: Reuters et al