After their successes in 2011 and 2016, Moroccan Islamists now want to step up in the legislative elections. But young Moroccans in particular have lost confidence in political parties.
Rabat (AP) – In the legislative elections in Morocco, the Islamists hope for another five years in power.
About 18 million registered voters – about half the population – were called on Wednesday to elect a parliament and a total of more than 30,000 community representatives across the country.
This is the third parliamentary election since a comprehensive constitutional reform in 2011. Since then, Islamists from the Moderate Justice and Development Party (PJD) have led the country in various coalitions. Five years ago, they established themselves as the most powerful force.
The results are expected Thursday. Observers expected low turnout due to corona restrictions and also because real power in Morocco continues to come from the king. Young people in particular have lost faith in government and political parties, according to polls. The political institute MIPA published in February a study according to which 64% of the people polled do not want to vote. In 2016, the participation rate was 43%.
Youth unemployment in the country is around 30 percent
Morocco grapples with corruption and youth unemployment, which currently stands at around 30 percent. The economy shrank by about seven percent in 2020. Reforms after the 2011 Arab uprisings have changed little. The kingdom is considered authoritarian. Important decisions are taken by King Mohammed VI. meet. After more than 20 years on the throne, the 58-year-old has great power.
Unlike 2016, this year Moroccans will vote for parliament and community representatives at the same time. The aim is to attract more people to the polling stations.
For the first time in its history, the moderate PJD emerged from an election as the most powerful force in 2011. PJD leader Slimane El Omrani was recently optimistic during a rally claiming Islamists would do well again. But some also blame the PJD for the weak economy and high food prices.