The Moorish Wanderer

Moroccan Elections for the Clueless Vol.5

A quick-and-dirty post:

8 political parties have just announced some sort of electoral alliance for November 25th.

from right to left: Abdelkrim Benâtik (PT) Mohamed Abied (UC) Mohand Laenser (MP) Abdelmjid Bouzoubâa (PS) Mohamed Fares (PGV) Salahedine Mezouar (RNI) Cheikh Biadillah (PAM) Mohamed Khalidi (PRV) and a 9th person I couldn't identify (photo via facebook)

Note:for the record, the inflationary number of political parties in Morocco compels me to delineate exactly each party’s name.

PT: Parti Travailliste (centre-left)
UC: Union Constitutionnelle (neo-liberal right)
MP: Mouvement Populaire (conservative right)
PS: Parti Socialiste (populist-left)
PGV: Parti de la Gauche Verte (environment-left)
RNI: Rassemblement National des Indépendants (centre-right)
PAM: Parti Authenticité et Modernité (ultra-monarchist)
PRV: Parti de la Renaissance et de la Vertu (moderate islamist)

This is great, isn’t it? This Alliance for Democracy gathers a super-caucus of 156 seats, an a motley of parties from across the political spectrum: Benâtik and Bouzoubâa are very close to labour-unions (a handy card if this coalition ever gets to form the next government) and could manage to broker deals for any future painful spending cuts; Laenser, Mezouar and Biadillah are leaders of large political parties with a nationwide representation, strong caucuses and extensive government experience, Khalidi, a former PJD member, could well prove to be an experimental device for moderate Islamists in government (I would personally follow with great interest what Representative Abdelbari Zemzami, a PRV member, could do as a Habus and Islamic Issues Minister) as for Dr. Farès, I suppose the alliance needed the “Democratic Left” brand, since the Green Left Party has been founded by Omar Zaïdi, a former Radical leftist and member of PSU (and the amazing thing with leftists, they do not completely sever ties with former comrades, yet another handy backroom channel)

Is this motley of political parties likely to win an election? The law of electoral mathematics in Morocco knows no Euclidean constraints: in 1977 and 1984, respectively Independent and UC candidates wiped the electoral floor with older and much more organized parties. The parallel is not very accurate, but the Koutla, save perhaps for their respective pre-independence history, cannot claim to be anywhere more homogeneous than this Alliance. Plus it displays clear lines between Senior/Junior partners: Assuming this alliance retains a similar number of seats, it is a safe bet to assume it will hold itself together all the way up to 2016.

What about the other parties? USFP and Istiqlal will feel genuinely threatened by the PAM-UC-RNI-MP core alliance, and will try to seal a deal by reactivating and strengthening the old-times Koutla, perhaps by including Khyari’s FFD, or even seriously reconsider their position with PJD. The latter is even more threatened by any electoral bloc that would, in effect, put it in an unconformable minority position.

Political leaders, it seems, are beginning to understand a free-for-all isn’t going to work. The leader of a political alliance, on the other hand, has reasonable chances to become the next Head of Government. We shall expect announcements on future electoral alliances very soon.

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  1. […] Here is the original post: Moroccan Elections for the Clueless Vol.5 « The Moorish Wanderer […]

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