Liberal RNI party of Morocco has secured majority seats in the parliamentary elections. On the other hand, preliminary results show co-ruling moderate PJD Islamists have faced a crushing defeat.
The coalition party in previous two governments, PJD, has taken hold of only 12 seats. Billionaire agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch led RNI party has bagged 97 out of 395 seats in parliament. PAM, another liberal party, too has secured 82 seats. Conservative Istiqlal took away 78 seats. These numbers were till Thursday after counting 96% of all parliamentary seats.
This a massive change in poll result as compared to 2016 elections when RNI had won only 37 seats while PJD had bagged 125 seats. Voter turnout too saw an increase in Wednesday election turnout being 50.3% as compared to 43% in 2016.
African country of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. King is the ultimate power holder and appoints prime minister from the party that wins majority seats in the parliament. Prime minister then forms the cabinet but final approval on that is of the king. Key departments appointments too are decided finally by the palace. These departments are defence, foreign affairs and interior in the forefront. Economic agenda of the country too is decided by the palace.
There are new voting rules in place which can pose much difficulties for larger parties to win election with as many seats as before. This means that RNI party will still have to enter into coalition to form a government.
Shocked by its big loss, PJD has accused rival parties of buying votes. But no details have been provided to back the allegations. PJD has been the largest party since 2011 but still hasn’t been able to stop the laws it opposes, including allowing cannabis for medical use.