Moroccan Elections for the Clueless Vol.16
Following the previous post on party logos, here are the remaining items selected from a pool of political parties in Morocco
MPDC/PJD Mouvement Populaire Démocratique & Constitutionnel – Parti Justice & Développement: yes, PJD party has not been created out of thin air; some Radical Islamists, in their bidding to join mainstream politics, were offered the possibility to join a small MP breakaway and gain respectability through it. It is amazing however, that even though PJD has been formally founded in 2002, they kept MPDC’s lantern -with some minor upgrades. Depending on how you see it, PJD is, at heart, either an administrative party (its surrogate organization, MPDC, is an MP split-off) or a National Movement party (PJD founder and father-figure, Dr. Abdelkrim Khatib, was an MLA commander prior to independence)
I suppose the symbolism encompassed in the lantern is pretty similar to that of OADP’s candle. Although it does carry a stronger sense of PJD/MPDC being a truth-seeker, a moral crusader (Jihadist in that context) vested with the sacred mission to right the wrongs of this society.
UC – Union Constitutionnelle: perhaps the only true conservative party in Morocco -conservative on economics, that is- whose founder was, ironically, a former UNFP Casablanca boss (Mâati Bouabid). The Orange, both as a colour and as a symbol belies its hard-line on liberalization they supported in the 1980s; that is why perhaps they have switched to the Horse.
An orange could be a symbol of “It’s the Economy, Stupid” kind of stump-speech: the fruit is a key component of Moroccan exports, especially at the time when Moroccan officials thought of Morocco’s mission to be Europe’s supplier in cheap and abundant food and raw agricultural products. As for the colour, orange is usually associated with centrist policy, a broad theme both UC and RNI exploited as a strategy to advertise themselves as above-partisan politics organizations.
PND – Parti National Démocrate: a rural breakaway from RNI, PND paradoxically prides itself of its union roots. The breakaway occured first in 1979 when a dissident RNI caucus decided to veto the Budget Bill (over a famously disastrous football match Morocco lost to Algeria 5-2) and formally founded itself as a party in 1984.
Its founder and most famous leader, Arsalane Jadidi, a former union leader, brought that unique brand of union populism to the party, and much of it symbolism: the way ears of corn are displayed, the balance and the torch reminds us of UMT’s own logo; the logo embodies the official PND line: proudly rural-oriented party, and focused on achieving social justice and liberty (the hand-held torch here borrows from the Thatcherite symbolic instead of MLA legacy) PND eventually merged into the now PAM (authenticity & modernity Party) juggernaut.
MDS- Mouvement Démocratique et Social: that party really is a Sphinx to the observer Moroccan politics. Mahmoud Archane, MDS founder and lifelong leader managed to scrap a respectable number of seats during the 1997 elections, essentially as a competitor to MP and MNP is mountainous and peripheral urban-rural constituencies. The symbolism behind the Palm-tree belies that; but I assume since Al Haraka had already their hands on the ear of wheat, MDS had to settle to the next rural symbol, and there comes the Palm-tree – even though it refers more to desert or Saharan-like rural set-up.