Islamist moderates win Morocco election but face struggle to build coalition

Moderate Islamists have won Morocco’s parliamentary elections although it may struggle to form a coalition to continue its anti-corruption reforms. The ruling Justice and Development Party won 125 seats while the Authenticity and Modernity Party party took 102, according to final results announced on Saturday. The narrow victory means the JDP will have to form a ruling coalition with anything up to three other parties to carry on in power for a second five-year term. “The PJD has proven today that being serious and truthful … and being faithful to the institutions, especially the monarchy, is a winning currency,” said PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane.

We were expecting more seats but … our modernist project has done well despite all attacks. There will be no alliance with PJD. If they get their coalition, we will be in the opposition

Khalid Adnoun, PAM spokesman

Under Morocco’s constitution, no one party is allowed to win an outright majority in the 395-seat Chamber of Representatives and must form a coalition to stay in power. The PJD has been popular for its anti-corruption reforms but there is frustration with its handling of the economy. The more liberal PAM, however, is seen by many as too close the country’s royal house. The West sees the PJD as a relatively stable influence in an impoverished country with low levels of literacy and a potential fertile recruiting ground for extremists. PJD voter Khalid Lamlagh, a 34-year-old tour guide, summed up many voters’ views. “There is no other party that is better than them,” he said, but added, “we hope that they will do much better than the last five years.”