Saturday, November 26, 2011

Islamists win Morocco elections

From Al Arabiya:
The Moroccan government confirmed Saturday that the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (PJD) had won biggest share of seats in parliament.

The party captured 80 seats in the 395-seat assembly, the most of any party, in Friday's polls according to provisional results, Interior Minister Taib Cherkaoui told a news conference.

A party in Morocco's ruling coalition recognized the win PJD’s win in the parliamentary elections.

“I congratulate the PJD for this win and I would like to say as well that Morocco won in these legislative elections,” sports and youth minister Moncef Belkhayat and a leader of the National Rally of Independents party told AFP.

The PJD, supported largely by Morocco’s poor, would be the second moderate Islamist party to lead a North African government since the start of the region’s Arab Spring uprisings, following Tunisia.

But the party, which hopes to push Islamic finance but vows to steer clear of imposing a strict moral code on society, will have to join forces with others to form a government.

The king revived a reform process this year hoping to sap the momentum out of a protest movement and avoid the violence-ridden revolts in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria.

He has handed over more powers to the government, although he retains the final say on the economy, security and religion.

The king will pick the next prime minister from the party that wins the biggest number of seats. But whichever party or bloc comes first is unlikely to be able to form a government on its own.

PJD has said it aims to obtain a majority by joining forces with three parties in the current governing coalition, including the left-wing Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) and the nationalist Istiqlal of Prime Minister Abbas al-Fassi.
Well, that takes care of most of North Africa.