Morocco's new horizon after 10 years of PJD

The Justice and Development Party debacle clears the way for Aziz Ajanuch to form a new government


The Moroccan elections have opened up a whole new sea of possibilities. The historic landslide of the Justice and Development Party, leaving even its leader and hitherto prime minister, Saadeddine Othmani, without his seat in Rabat and thus with no chance of keeping his post, according to the constitution, leaves the future government in the hands of the Independent National Rally (RNI). The RNI has Aziz Ajanuch as its leader, a person who, over and above his wealth - he has a fortune of close to $2 billion - is a close friend of King Mohammed VI.

His closeness to the monarch will undoubtedly be one of the key factors in forming the new government that will be in charge of running Morocco for the next five years. With 102 seats, he has gone from being the fourth force in the last elections to being the first, and with all the cards to lead the country. However, the RNI will need to get down to work to form alliances and reach the 198 seats required for an absolute majority in the 395-member House of Representatives.

It is at this point that the rest of the parties come into play, which will, after all, play a decisive role when it comes to reaching an agreement with Ajanuch's party. The Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) comes in second, winning 86 seats, which means that an agreement between the RNI and PAM alone will not be enough, leaving them with 188 seats. The Istiqlal Party is a little further behind with 81, and a little further behind are the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (35 seats), the Popular Movement (29), the Progress and Socialism Party (21), the Constitutional Union (18) and, as the last force above 10, the hitherto ruling Justice and Development Party (13).rueda-de-prensa-pam

The close friendship between King Mohammed VI and Aziz Ajanuch could favour a rapprochement between the RNI and the PAM. Despite the fact that these parties have somewhat divergent ideas - RNI centre-right liberal and PAM closer to the centre-left - the monarch's help could bring them together. The Authenticity and Modernity Party was created at the initiative of Mohammed VI himself, which could make things much easier between the two parties, which, despite their differences, seem destined to understand each other.

And they are largely because the other option that Ajanuch could manage is the Istiqlal Party, a conservative right-wing party close to nationalism. Both the Istiqlal and the PAM have a very similar number of seats, although it should not be forgotten that, in either case, a two-party pact would not be enough. In order to form the new Moroccan government, the option that is gaining the most ground is the Popular Movement, a right-wing liberal party that, with its 29 seats, could decide the future Moroccan government.

The existence of such a large number of parties with significant representation in Congress has a twofold effect. On the one hand, as we have seen, the alternatives are very broad, but at the same time, it is more complicated to reach an agreement, which in this case should be between at least three forces. The election results are still very recent and all options remain open. What does seem clear is that Aziz Ajanuch will have to get down to work to find the right agreements to reach the 198 seats.