Morocco’s Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) prevailed in local elections, scoring landslide victories in the country’s major cities of Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier, Marrakech, Fes and Agadir. In a major development, the Islamist party dislodged the opposition leader Hamid Chabat from his stronghold of Fes, which has been the political power base of the Istiqlal Party since independence and the hometown of Morocco’s aristocratic leadership for decades. Now it has fallen whole-heartedly to Islamists.
In Rabat the Islamist party also routed the Socialist Union and its iconic strategist and prominent economist Fathallah Oualalou, whose socialist activism propelled him to operate as the engine of Morocco’s privatization program, what an irony this is!!!
In Casablanca, the PJD captured most seats and is now set to manage the economic hub of the kingdom unchallenged!
In Marrakech, the tourist hub with a vibrant night life, the Islamist party ousted the the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), which was formed in 2008 and quickly shot to power nationwide in 2009. PAM is the most controversial party in the country. PJD leader Benkirane refers to it as a “gang” of suspected big money launders and drug dealer and bankers!
In Agadir, the southern tourist magnet, and the hometown of this author, the PJD overthrew the socialist Union which ruled the city for 34 years
This is a major development in Morocco’s democratic experiment. Now the question is: what does it mean that the Islamist party has won?
This will be the subject of my following blog post later today. Stay tuned.