Elections consolidate Morocco as a model in the region

The Kingdom has managed to hold a successful triple election despite the health situation

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   A man casts his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary and local elections, in Casablanca, Morocco, 8 September 2021

Morocco has become the first African and Arab country to hold elections without having to postpone them, as has happened in other countries in the region, and respecting health measures.

For the first time in the history of the Kingdom, legislative, regional and local elections were held on the same day and in the health context of the pandemic. However, despite the exceptional health situation, the elections went off without a hitch. This demonstrates Morocco's intention to promote and strengthen the country's democratic path. 

PHOTO/AFP - Morocco's Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani, president of the Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD), casts his vote on 8 September 2021 in Sale

For his part, the International Observer and French MP, Majid Kerrab, declared to Rue20 that "Morocco should be proud of holding democratic elections in the middle of the pandemic".

Moreover, these elections were characterised by a high turnout in the regions of Western Sahara, where the constituency of El Alaiun increased to 52%. On the other hand, in the Tarfaya region, voter turnout up to 3 p.m. was 49.25%. Along with this, the final turnout in the triple electoral appointment had increased 8 points compared to the last general elections of 2016 and had stood at 50.18% compared to 42% in the last elections, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

PHOTO/AP - Moroccans voted in legislative, regional and local elections on Wednesday amid tight security guidelines against the virus, and as the North African country grapples with a new surge in COVID-19.

These data demonstrate the will of the people to democratically elect their future representatives. It also states that the pandemic has not prevented citizens from going to the polling stations.

In the last few hours, the results of the elections were known after the votes had been counted. The Independent National Rally (RNI), led by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Ajanuch, has managed to beat its main rival, the PJD, and position itself as the most voted political force with 97 seats out of a total of 395 deputies. In second place is the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), which won 82 seats compared to the 37 seats it won in the 2016 elections. 

AFP/FADEL SENNA - Moroccan Abdellatif Ouahbi, president of the Authenticity and Modernity party, casts his ballot on 8 September 2021 in Rabat as Moroccans vote in parliamentary and local elections.

On the other hand, the Islamists of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) suffered a sharp decline. The party, which has been in power for the past decade, has gone from 125 seats five years ago to just 12. Despite the absence of polls, popular opinion predicted this decline, with oil tycoon Aziz Ajanuch emerging as the overwhelming favourite among the population. However, what few expected was that the party's collapse would be so dramatic.

The ruling party will now be forced to form a coalition government and, once the new government structure is announced, King Mohammed VI will appoint the new head of government, thus ushering in a new political era without the presence of the Islamists in power.