2021 Moroccan general election

Last updated

2021 Moroccan general election
Flag of Morocco.svg
  2016 8 September 2021

All 395 seats in the House of Representatives
198 seats needed for a majority
Turnout50.35% Increase2.svg 7.35pp [1]
PartyLeader%Seats±
RNI Aziz Akhannouch 102+65
PAM Abdellatif Ouahbi 87-15
Istiqlal Nizar Baraka 81+35
USFP Driss Lachgar 34+14
MP Mohand Laenser 28+1
PPS Nabil Benabdallah 22+10
UC Mohammed Sajid 18-1
PJD Saadeddine Othmani 13-112
MDS Abdessamad Archane 5+2
FFD Mustapha Benali 3+3
FGD 1-1
PSU Nabila Mounib 1New
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Prime Minister beforePrime Minister after
Saadeddine Othmani no Brasil.jpg Saadeddine Othmani
PJD
Aziz Akhannouch
RNI
Aziz Akhannouch (cropped).jpg

General elections were held in Morocco on 8 September 2021 to elect 395 members of the House of Representatives. The National Rally of Independents led by Aziz Akhannouch won the most seats (102), a gain of 65 seats from the prior election. The liberal Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) took second place with 87 seats, a net loss of 15 seats. The centre-right Istiqlal Party gained 35 seats and took third place with 81 seats total. The governing Justice and Development Party won only 13 seats, a net loss of 112 seats for the party.

Contents

Background

King Mohammed VI in 2016 King Mohammed VI.jpg
King Mohammed VI in 2016

July 2020 marked the 21st year of King Mohammed VI's reign in Morocco. [2] The first two decades of the 21st century saw civil and political reforms, as well as "popular disillusionment" with the socioeconomic and political state of the nation. [2] In response to the 2011 protests that occurred as part of the Arab Spring, King Mohammed VI announced a series of constitutional reforms, passed through a national referendum in July 2011. [3] The reforms were described by the BBC as "expanding the powers of parliament and the prime minister but leaving the king with broad authority over the government". [4] The Islamic State's presence in the region also posed a threat to Morocco throughout the 2010s. [2]

In 2014, the Freedom of the Press report gave Morocco a rating of "not free". [5]

After the 2016 elections, protests continued to occur; in 2016 and 2017, a movement known as Hirak Rif demonstrated in the streets of northern Morocco against corruption and unemployment. [4] In 2017, the Freedom of the Press report upgraded Morocco's rating to "partly free". [6] By June 2019, the BBC reported that "almost half of Moroccans [were] considering emigrating" to other countries. [4] The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Morocco a " hybrid regime " in 2019. [7] [ needs update ]

2020 saw the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, a law was passed to outlaw many forms of making posts online. [8] The government claimed the bill was written "without prejudice to the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of digital communications", and shortly began arresting people for posting information it deemed to be false. [8] Morocco's initial response to the pandemic put it "among the world's COVID-19 success stories" in the first months of the pandemic; [9] lockdown measures first implemented on 20 March began to be eased after several months, and a third phase of gradually lifting the lockdown had begun on 19 July. However, the reduction in cases came at a cost: by late July, the government's actions during the pandemic would be described as a "reversal of democratic reforms", with Parliament being "sidelined, its duties increasingly usurped by the Makhzen". [10] The Interior Ministry suspended local council meetings (even remote meetings held online), an action the Constitution reserved exclusively for Parliament. [10] While a restriction on visitation from foreign business visitors was lifted on 10 September, a sharp increase in cases (and the possibility of a second wave of infections) prompted the restrictions to be reinstated. [11]

In November 2020, the Polisario Front ended a 29-year ceasefire agreement with Morocco in Western Sahara, blaming Morocco for breaking the terms of the agreement. [12] [13] In December, the Israel–Morocco normalization agreement established diplomatic relations between the two nations; Morocco became the sixth Arab League member to do so, and the fourth in the space of four months (along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan). [14] [15] In exchange, the Donald Trump administration announced that the United States would recognize Morocco's claim over Western Sahara. [16]

Parties confirmed to be contesting the election included the ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD), the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), and the Istiqlal Party (PI). [17]

Electoral system

Morocco has a bicameral legislature, whose two chambers are the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives has 395 seats, which are elected by proportional representation and consist of two tiers: 305 seats are elected from 92 multi-member constituencies (with the electoral threshold set at 6%) and the remaining 90 are elected from a single nationwide constituency (with no electoral threshold according to new law [18] ). Nationwide seats are reserved; 60 are set aside for women and 30 are set aside for people under the age of 40, of which 15 must be women. [19]

An amendment to electoral law assigned an additional 15 reserved seats for female representatives in the 2021 parliament. [20] Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit said in September 2020 that the political representation of women in Morocco had "not yet reached the required level", but that concerted efforts would ensure a "significant and fair" representation of women in the 2021 elections. [20] The new law calculates the allocations of seats based on the number of registered voters, rather than the number of those who actually cast a ballot. [21] This means the party that received the largest number of votes in the district will not be able to obtain more than one electoral seat. [18]

All citizens who were at least 18 years old, or have reached the age of 18 by March 2021, were eligible to vote. The period for submitting voter registration requests ended on 31 December 2020. [22]

Campaign

The electoral calendar was unveiled on 10 May 2021. [23] While the municipal, regional and legislative elections traditionally took place on different days, in 2021, a new electoral law was passed under which all three would be held on the same day, in a bid to increase voter turnout [24] (the 2016 elections had a turnout of less than 50%). [25] [17] [26] However, a high level of abstention was expected due to a loss of confidence in the institutions, with the government's sidelining of parliament leading to a lack of real issues at stake in the elections. [27]

On 15 August 2021, the minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs issued a communiqué signed by Minister Ahmed Toufiq calling on all imams and preachers in the country to remain neutral, and warning that religious rectors who do so would be removed from their administrative duties. This request was also addressed to the delegates and representatives of the ministry. [28]

The election campaign began on 26 August. [29]

The Justice and Development Party (PJD) of Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani hoped to repeat for the third time in a row the lead in the vote that brought it to power in 2011. In particular, the moderate Islamists hoped to gain sufficiently clear-cut control of key ministries, which they have traditionally lacked. The PJD trailed in particular by two-thirds in the polls, [30] behind the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), led by Abdellatif Ouahbi and known for its royalist stance in a country where public attachment to the monarch is already strong. [30]

The Istiqlal party (PI), led by Nizar Baraka, came third in 2016 and has an economic development program that focuses on reducing inequalities, but also on environmental issues, particularly in terms of water resource management, biodiversity, and the fight against pollution. [30]

The National Rally of Independents (RNI) of minister Aziz Akhannouch presented a program focused on five commitments and 25 actions valued at 275 billion dirhams, or more than 25 billion euros. [30]

COVID-19 measures

The election was organized in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. By July 2020, rumors had started to circulate that the elections would be postponed due to the virus. While Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit launched political consultations for the 2021 elections on 8 July, [31] on 8 August it was reported that the government was considering postponing the elections due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The difficulty of carrying out election activities while limiting transmission of the virus, as well as the economic challenges of carrying out an election during the concomitant economic recession, were cited as motivating factors. [9] Meanwhile, some parties voiced opposition to the proposal, claiming it was a ploy by the incumbent government to prolong its control over the nation. [9] [32]

On 9 November, however, it was announced that general elections had been scheduled to take place in September 2021. [25] [17] The organization of the electoral campaign was under significant health restrictions, including a ban on gatherings of more than 25 people nor of big political rallies. [30]

Results

Turnout rose sharply from 43% in 2016 to 50.35% in 2021, the highest since the 2002 elections. [33] [34]

The elections were won by the National Rally of Independents (RNI), led by Aziz Akhannouch, which won 102 seats, gaining 65. It was followed by the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), which won 87 seats, losing 15. In third place, the Istiqlal Party won 81, gaining 35 seats. The Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) won 34; the Popular Movement (MP), 28; the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), 22; the Constitutional Union (UC), 18; the Democratic and Social Movement (MDS), 5; the Front of Democratic Forces (FFD), 3 and the Alliance of the Left Federation (FGD), 1. The historic defeat of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) led the ruling party to win only 13 seats, thus losing 112, more than 90% of its seats and placing it in eighth place after winning the three previous elections. Saadeddine Othmani also failed to win re-election in his constituency of Rabat. [35] Two new parties entered: FFD with 3 deputies and PSU with one. The PUD and the PSGV lost one seat each, thus remaining outside the House of Representatives. [36] [37] [38]

At the request of the Moroccan authorities, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe deployed four groups of congress observers in and around Rabat and Casablanca to make an electoral assessment between 7 and 9 September. [39] A total of 4,500 observers were accredited, 70 of which were international and 14 from NGOs. [40]

2021 House of Representatives Morocco.svg
PartySeats+/–
National Rally of Independents 102+65
Authenticity and Modernity Party 87–15
Istiqlal Party 81+35
Socialist Union of Popular Forces 34+14
Popular Movement 28+1
Party of Progress and Socialism 22+10
Constitutional Union 18–1
Justice and Development Party 13–112
Democratic and Social Movement 5+2
Front of Democratic Forces 3+3
Federation of the Democratic Left 1–1
Unified Socialist Party 1New
Total3950
Source: Yabiladi

Reactions

National

International

Aftermath

On 10 September 2021, Aziz Akhannouch was nominated as Prime Minister by King Mohammed VI and was tasked by the King to form a new government, which has yet to take charge. [46] [47]

Related Research Articles

Politics of Morocco take place in a framework of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Morocco is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives of Morocco and the Assembly of Councillors. The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary.

Mohammed V International Airport Airport in Morocco

Mohammed V International Airport is an international airport serving Casablanca, Morocco. Located in Nouaceur Province, it is operated by ONDA.

Justice and Development Party (Morocco) Moroccan political party

The Justice and Development Party is a political party in Morocco that advocates for political Islam. It was the ruling party of Morocco from 2011 to 2021.

Popular Movement (Morocco) Political party in Morocco

The Popular Movement is a royalist and traditionalist rural-focused political party in Morocco. It is a member of Liberal International. The party has a history of cooperating with two other parties with a liberal orientation, the National Rally of Independents and the Constitutional Union, since 1993.

Istiqlal Party Political party in Morocco

The Istiqlal or Independence Party is a political party in Morocco. It is a conservative and monarchist party and a member of the Centrist Democrat International and International Democrat Union. Istiqlal headed a coalition government under Abbas El Fassi from 19 September 2007 to 29 November 2011. Since 2013, it has been the official opposition.

National Rally of Independents Political party in Morocco

The National Rally of Independents is a political party in Morocco. Despite self-identifying as social-democratic, the party has been described as pro-business and liberal, and the party has a history of cooperating with two other parties with a liberal orientation, the Popular Movement and the Constitutional Union, since 1993.

Saadeddine Othmani Former Prime Minister of Morocco

Saadeddine Othmani is a Moroccan politician. He served as Prime Minister of Morocco from 17 March 2017 to 10 September 2021. Previously he served as foreign minister from 2012 to 2013.

Abbas El Fassi Moroccan politician

Abbas El Fassi was Prime Minister of Morocco from 19 September 2007 to 29 November 2011. El Fassi, a member of the Istiqlal Party, replaced independent Driss Jettou.

The Party of Renaissance and Virtue is a political party in Morocco. It defines itself as moderate Islamist. However, Siham Ali of Magharebia describes it as an Islamist party.

Authenticity and Modernity Party Moroccan political party

The Authenticity and Modernity Party is a political party in Morocco. It was founded in 2008 by Fouad Ali El Himma, an advisor to the king Mohammed VI, and it has been perceived by its opponents and the press as being backed and directed by the monarchy. As such, it has been accused of having little ideology except for support of the monarchy, although some of its policies have been described as progressive-liberal.

Early general elections were held in Morocco on 25 November 2011, brought forward from 2012 and then postponed from 7 October 2011.

Aziz Akhannouch Moroccan politician and businessman, Prime minister of Morocco

Aziz Akhannouch is a Moroccan politician, businessman, and billionaire who is scheduled to become the Prime Minister of Morocco once his government is formed. He is the CEO of Akwa Group and also served as Minister of Agriculture from 2007 to 2021.

Abdelilah Benkirane Moroccan politician

Abdelilah Benkirane is a Moroccan politician who was Prime Minister of Morocco from November 2011 to March 2017. After having won a plurality of seats in the 2011 parliamentary election, his party, the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party formed a coalition with three parties that had been part of previous governments.

Mohamed El Ouafa Moroccan politician

Mohamed El Ouafa was a Moroccan diplomat and politician of the Istiqlal Party. He was Minister of Education in Abdelilah Benkirane's cabinet.

Abdelkader Aamara Moroccan politician

Abdelkader Aamara is a Moroccan politician of the Justice and Development Party and its Chief Treasurer. On 3 January 2012, he was nominated as the Minister for Industry, Trade and New Technologies in the cabinet of Abdelilah Benkirane. Between 2013 and 2016, he was the Minister for Energy, Mines, Water and Environment and since 5 April 2017, he has been the minister for Equipment, Transport and Water Logistics in the cabinet of El Othmani. Between 2nd & 20th August 2018, he took an interim position as the Minister for Economy and Finance following the firing of Mohamed Boussaid. He has served as MP for Salé since 2002 and is a professor at the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy in Rabat, from which he graduated in 1986.

Prime Minister of Morocco

The prime minister of Morocco is the head of government of the Kingdom of Morocco and serves in a position akin to a prime minister in other constitutional monarchies. The prime minister is chosen by the king of Morocco from the largest party elected to parliament. The Constitution of Morocco grants executive powers to the government and allows the head of government to propose and dismiss cabinet members, provincial governors, and ambassadors, to oversee government programs and the delivery of public services, and to dissolve the lower house of parliament with the king's approval.

General elections were held in Morocco on 7 October 2016. The ruling Justice and Development Party remained the largest party, winning 125 of the 395 seats in the House of Representatives, a gain of 18 seats compared to the 2011 elections.

Mustapha Bakkoury Moroccan politician

Mustapha Bakkoury is a Moroccan businessman, engineer and politician. He is chairman of the board of the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency and the council president of the Casablanca-Settat region. He was born in Mohammedia, but is a native of Taounate.

Khalid Aït Taleb

Khalid Aït Taleb is a Moroccan medical professor and politician. He is currently the Minister of Health of Morocco.

References

  1. "Legislative Elections: RNI Leads Ahead of PAM and Istiqlal Party (Provisional Results)". 9 September 2021.
  2. 1 2 3 Abouzzohour, Yasmina (29 July 2020). "Progress and missed opportunities: Morocco enters its third decade under King Mohammed VI". The Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  3. Morocco King Proposes Limited Steps to Democracy Archived 13 March 2021 at the Wayback Machine , The New York Times , 17 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011
  4. 1 2 3 "Could Morocco see the next uprising, after Sudan and Algeria?". British Broadcasting Corporation. 27 June 2019. Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  5. "Freedom of the Press 2014" (PDF). Freedom House. 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 January 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  6. "Freedom of the Press 2017 – Morocco". Refworld. Freedom House. Archived from the original on 22 May 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  7. The Economist Intelligence Unit (8 January 2019). "Democracy Index 2019" . Economist Intelligence Unit. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  8. 1 2 Hatim, Yahia (19 March 2020). "Morocco Enacts New Law to Fight Fake News, Cybercrime". Morocco World News. Archived from the original on 3 December 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  9. 1 2 3 Koundouno, Tamba François (8 August 2020). "COVID-19 Could Disrupt 2021 General Elections Across Morocco". Morocco World News. Archived from the original on 12 December 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  10. 1 2 Karam, Souhail (23 July 2020). "Morocco Rolls Back Democracy Under Cover of Covid-19". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  11. El Barakah, Tarik (27 September 2020). "Morocco faces down COVID spread with tough rules". ABC News. Archived from the original on 14 January 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  12. "Moroccan troops launch operation in Western Sahara". Daily Sabah. 13 November 2020. Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  13. "Polisario leader says Western Sahara ceasefire with Morocco is over". Reuters. 14 November 2020. Archived from the original on 21 December 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  14. "Israel, Morocco agree to normalize relations in latest U.S.-brokered deal". Reuters. Reuters. 11 September 2020. Archived from the original on 16 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  15. "The world this year". The Economist. 19 December 2020. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  16. "Morocco recognizes Israel and wins Trump nod on Western Sahara". France 24 . 10 December 2020.
  17. 1 2 3 Hatim, Yahia (9 November 2020). "Morocco's 2021 General Elections to Take Place in September". Morocco World News. Archived from the original on 30 November 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  18. 1 2 "Morocco goes to polls to elect parliament under controversial new law". 8 September 2021. Archived from the original on 9 September 2021.
  19. "IPU PARLINE database: MOROCCO (Majliss-annouwab), Electoral system". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Archived from the original on 15 December 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  20. 1 2 Larousni, Latifa (3 September 2020). "Morocco Seeks Greater Participation of Women in 2021 Elections". Asharq al-Awsat. Archived from the original on 10 January 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  21. "Ballot counting under way in Morocco vote overshadowed by apathy". Archived from the original on 8 September 2021.
  22. Kasraoui, Safaa (30 November 2020). "Morocco Sets Deadline for Voter Registration". Morocco World News. Archived from the original on 12 December 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  23. Ibriz, Sara (10 May 2021). "Voici les dates des élections 2021". Médias 24  [ fr ].
  24. Dardar, Jihad (18 December 2020). "'Aji Souwet': The Movement Encouraging Moroccan Youth to Vote". Morocco World News. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  25. 1 2 "Morocco to hold general elections in September next year". The North Africa Post. 9 November 2020. Archived from the original on 17 November 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  26. Kozlowski, Nina (11 May 2021). "Élections législatives au Maroc : les enjeux du scrutin". Jeune Afrique .
  27. M., M. (13 January 2021). "Des experts craignent un record d'abstentionnisme lors des élections de 2021". Médias 24.
  28. Kasraoui, Safaa (15 August 2021). "Morocco Calls on Imams, Preachers To Remain Neutral During Elections". Morocco World News .
  29. "Au Maroc, début de campagne pour les élections de septembre". Le Monde . 27 August 2021.
  30. 1 2 3 4 5 "Maroc – Élections générales : les partis dans les starting-blocks". Le Point. 28 August 2021.
  31. Larousni, Latifa (9 July 2020). "Moroccan Interior Minister Holds Initial Talks on 2021 Poll". Asharq al-Awsat. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  32. El Ouardighi, Samir (16 September 2020). "La majorité des partis n'excluent plus un report des élections de 2021". Medias24.
  33. "وزارة الداخلية: نسبة المشاركة في "انتخابات 8 شتنبر" تتجاوز 50 بالمائة". 8 September 2021.
  34. Eljechtimi, Ahmed (8 September 2021). "Half of Morocco's electorate voted in parliamentary elections". Reuters .
  35. 1 2 "Elections législatives au Maroc : sévère défaite des islamistes au pouvoir". Le Monde. 8 September 2021.
  36. "Maroc: spectaculaire déroute électorale des islamistes au pouvoir". Le Point . 9 September 2021.
  37. Alami, Aida; Casey, Nicholas (8 September 2021). "Islamists See Big Losses in Moroccan Parliamentary Elections". The New York Times .
  38. "Résultats définitifs des élections du 8 septembre : 102 sièges pour le RNI, 13 pour". Yabiladi.com. 9 September 2021.
  39. Eljechtimi, Ahmed (2 September 2021). "Congress observed regional and municipal elections in Morocco". Council of Europe .
  40. Hamann, Jasper (8 September 2021). "Moroccan National Elections 2021: Polls Close Without Incidents". Morocco World News.
  41. Kasraoui, Safaa (9 September 2021). "Elections: Benkirane Calls on El Othmani to Resign After 'Painful' Results". Morocco World News.
  42. Kasraoui, Safaa (9 September 2021). "E'Best Conditions': Minister Highlights Transparency of Morocco's Elections". Morocco World News.
  43. "PJD: Othmani démissionne du secrétariat général". L'Économiste . 9 September 2021.
  44. Goff, Shaquille (8 September 2021). "The US Congratulates Morocco on 'Successful' General Elections". Morocco World News.
  45. "Congress concludes electoral observation mission in Morocco". Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  46. "Le Roi Mohammed VI nomme Aziz Akhannouch chef du gouvernement". Medias24 (in French). 10 September 2021. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  47. "Mohammed VI nomme Aziz Akhannouch Chef de gouvernement". Telquel (in French). Retrieved 10 September 2021.