By Mohammed Bouida
At a time when the Arab world is experiencing uproar, Moroccans have expressed their strong desire for change through their votes on November 25. These polls have put Morocco under the international spotlight. The international community praised the progress as reflected in the results of the first early parliamentary elections under the constitution of July 1st 2011. The organisation of these elections was a concretization of the reforms initiated by King Mohammed VI in the wake of the Arab Spring. Over 45% or nearly half the 13.5 million Moroccans were able to express their choice among the 7100 candidates who appeared on behalf of the 31 political parties vying to run for the 395 parliamentary. This is a significant improvement over previous polls (2007), which witnessed a low turnout of 37 (two million more registered).
According to preliminary results (288 of 305 seats for the local districts) that were made public by the Ministry of Interior, the Justice and Development Party (PJD) won a plurality of votes. The PJD, which presents itself as a pro-monarchist and moderate party, won 80 seats. It is respectively followed by the Istiqlal Party (IP, conservative) with 45 seats, followed in third place by the National Rally of Independents (RNI-liberal technocrat), credited with 38 seats and, the Authenticity and Modernity Party (WFP), who gleaned 33 seats. As for the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) with 29 seats, the Popular Movement (MP-Conservative Berber) with 22 seats, followed closely by the Constitutional Union (UC) with 15 seats and the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), with 11 seats, they are placed at the bottom of the ranking.
In view of these results, even if the PJD is positioned atop of the other political formations, it has no choice but to rally with other parties in order to form a government and secure a comfortable majority in the parliament. The general view is that theses elections witnessed a total respect of democratic rule and absence of any major fraud.
As soon as the final results are announced, King Mohammed VI will name a Prime Minister from the largest party in parliament. The new government would be formed by the PJD, as stipulated in the new Constitution, taking into account the partial unofficial results currently available. Following Turkey and Tunisia, Morocco will be the third Muslim country in the Mediterranean, to be led by an Islamist party.