Morocco's youth rank the army as the most highly rated institution

The government and political parties are at the bottom of a list drawn up by the Northern Observatory for Human Rights (ONDH), an independent advisory body
Ejército Marruecos

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   Two Moroccan soldiers advance in an armoured vehicle

The army is the institution most highly valued by young people in Morocco, with 75% approval and only 15% distrust. This is reflected in the latest survey carried out by the Northern Observatory for Human Rights (ONDH), an independent consultative body that took the pulse of nearly 400 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 living in the northern region of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima during the last third of last year, in collaboration with the Élite Futura foundation. 

The publication of the survey results comes during a recruitment campaign. On 28 December last, the Ministry of the Interior called up young people of age to perform the reinstated military service. The deadline for registration is 25 February. Until then, those aged between 19 and 25 must complete the formalities if they have been called up or register on the website if they want to volunteer. The training will begin in June. 

It has been compulsory since 2019. More than 178,000 Moroccans have been called up for the current campaign, EFE reports. The authorities have so far selected some 20,000 young people, including nearly 2,000 women. This contingent will be added to the army's 375,000 soldiers, of whom 200,000 are in active military service, 150,000 in the reserves and 25,000 in the paramilitary forces, according to Global Firepower figures.

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   Belkhir el-Farouk (right), commander of the southern zone, and US Army General Christopher Cavoli (left), commanding general of the US Army in Europe and Africa, inspect a guard of honour on their arrival at the "African Lion" military exercise

The indicator placed Morocco as the 61st military power in the world in a ranking that includes 154 countries, the third in North Africa behind Egypt and Algeria. 

The Royal Armed Forces (FAR), founded in 1956 on the eve of national independence, is closely followed by the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), the Moroccan National Police, which is attached to the Ministry of the Interior and led by the controversial Abdellatif Hammouchi, decorated by the French and Spanish governments, with a confidence rating of over 70%. 

Behind are the Royal Gendarmerie, a body that carries out judicial, administrative and military tasks, and the judiciary, both with a confidence rating of 61%. This list, composed solely of sovereign institutions, i.e., those that are not subject to public scrutiny or elections, closes with the Ministry of the Interior, which has been occupied since 2017 by the independent Abdelouafi Laftit, with an approval rating of 51%.

PHOTO/AFP  -   General view of the Moroccan Parliament in the capital, Rabat
Political parties at the bottom 

Political platforms are at the bottom of the list, with 80% disapproval. This figure explains the low voter turnout in the last legislative elections, which were held in September 2021. Only 50% of registered voters participated in a process that ended with the victory of the National Rally of Independents (RNI), the party of Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, and the unmitigated failure of the Islamist PJD, which lost more than a hundred seats in Parliament. 

But the Akhannouch-led coalition government fares no better. It ranks second to last on the list, with a confidence rating of less than 20 per cent among the young people surveyed. The House of Representatives follows in the executive's footsteps, although its approval rating barely exceeds 20%. 

On the other side of the coin are civil society associations, with a positive trust rating of 64%; and the media, with a positive trust rating of 42%, but 53% distrust, noted for lack of plurality.