Morocco's Ruling Islamist Party Leadership Resigns After Losing Parliamentary Elections to Liberals

© FADEL SENNAMembers of Morocco's Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) hold a press conference in the capital Rabat to announce the resignation of its president Saad-Eddine el-Othmani and all members of its general secretariat, after it came in 8th in parliamentary and local elections, on September 9, 2021.
Members of Morocco's Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) hold a press conference in the capital Rabat to announce the resignation of its president Saad-Eddine el-Othmani and all members of its general secretariat, after it came in 8th in parliamentary and local elections, on September 9, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.09.2021
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Islamists have ruled Morocco for ten years, gaining a foothold during Arab Spring and developing relatively friendly relations with the Moroccan king, while other Islamist powers have been excluded from the political sphere over their opposition to the monarchy.
The leadership of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (JDP), led by incumbent Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani, resigned en masse on Thursday after losing legislative elections to a liberal-conservative party the day before.
The leadership called the results "illogical," and mentioned what they claimed were multiple violations during the elections and at different stages of the run-up to the event.
"The Justice and Development Party General Council announced that it bears full political responsibility for the results at this stage, while its Secretary-General Saad Dine El Otmani and members decided to resign," the statement read.
On Wednesday, Morocco held parliamentary elections, with a turnout of about 50%, in which JDP suffered a crushing defeat, plummeting from 125 seats in the lower house of the parliament to just 12. The liberal National Rally of Independents, which won the biggest number of seats, 97 out of the 395, will now form a government, in accordance with the country's constitution.
© FADEL SENNASaad-Eddine El Othmani , Morocco's Prime Minister and President of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), greets people during a campaign meeting in Sidi Slimane, some 120 kms from Rabat, on August 27, 2021, ahead of the upcoming elections.
Saad-Eddine El Othmani , Morocco's Prime Minister and President of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), greets people during a campaign meeting in Sidi Slimane, some 120 kms from Rabat, on August 27, 2021, ahead of the upcoming elections. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.09.2021
Saad-Eddine El Othmani , Morocco's Prime Minister and President of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), greets people during a campaign meeting in Sidi Slimane, some 120 kms from Rabat, on August 27, 2021, ahead of the upcoming elections.
According to Al Jazeera, JDP failed to prevent the legislation that the party opposed, including the promotion of the French language in education, and allowing the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
The National Rally of Independents was founded by the billionaire brother-in-law of the king of the country who enjoys close ties with the Moroccan royalty.
In the Moroccan version of the modern monarchy, the king, in addition to being sacred, has broad powers in governing the state, even though the new constitution, adopted in 2011, was intended to weaken the power of the monarchy and expand opportunities for the representative branch of government.
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