Islamist moderates win most seats in Moroccan vote


Demonstrators have a great time calling for people to boycott the elections
Daylife/Getty Images unsed by permission

Morocco’s moderate Islamist PJD party won the most seats in the country’s parliamentary election, final results showed Sunday, in the latest sign of a resurgence of faith-based movements since the Arab Spring uprisings.

The victory for Morocco’s Justice and Development Party came a month after Tunisia handed power to a previously-banned party of moderate Islamists. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is also expected to do well in an election starting Monday.

PJD, which will get its first chance to head a coalition government, has said it will promote Islamic finance but steer clear of imposing a strict moral code on a country that depends on tourism.

The party…is loyal to the monarchy and backs its role as the supreme religious authority in the country.

PJD won 107 seats in the 395-seat parliament, according to results from the interior ministry carried by the official MAP news agency. Three parties from the secularist Koutla bloc, with which the PJD wants to form a coalition, won a total 117 seats, the results showed.

Koutla includes the Istiqlal Party, of outgoing Prime Minister Abbas Al Fassi, Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) and Socialism and Progress Party (PPS). The three parties won 60, 39 and 18 seats respectively. Istiqlal headed the incumbent coalition.

Ruler King Mohammed is expected to pick a prime minister from PJD’s ranks next week, with its secretary general Abdelilah Benkirane touted for the job.

PJD’s rivals, a grouping of eight liberal parties with close ties to the royal palace, lagged behind with about 160 seats in total, according to the final results…

The moderate Islamists’ strong showing came on the back of its promises for greater democracy, less corruption and to tackle acute social inequalities by raising minimum wages and reforming education. Youth unemployment is at 31 percent and nearly a quarter of the 33 million population live in severe poverty.

Students and anarchists rarely comprehend that the hard work of building a revolution is only solved by demonstrations – in movies about revolutions. If you can’t convince voters to support you at the polls, you’re left with being a debating society – or a boil on the butt of the body politic.

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