Moroccan Elections for the Clueless Vol.18
And the Campaign is off! Candidates are competing, parties are trying to lure the voters with not so much clever videos; but nonetheless the campaign has started cahin-caha.
The Interior Ministry released figures on competing parties and their candidates; it is quite astonishing to discover that among those 7102 candidates seeking public office, some odd political parties joining in – CNI (with 300 candidates) a fellow Left Alliance member with PSU and PADS- and smaller, more obscure organizations (among others, Choura & Istiqlal party are endorsing 58 candidates) trying to make their way through a highly competitive, time and resources-consuming campaign.
The good news is, we shall have at least 80% of the next batch of Representatives (on local ballot) with a decent education degree: only 200 of these have no education, and realistically, only 23 to 50 can get into parliament. So on education requirement, the next parliament might well be more prepared to deal with the difficult task of representing the public. 90% of head ballot candidates have at least a High School degree – all 1,422 of them.
Though there is a national ballot list, women are campaigning for local ballots as well, though it is worth pointing out only 5% of those are Women-led. Diversity with ‘young’ candidates (it is a bit of stretch to consider all those 35-yo when the median age among adult population is closer to 30, and overall median age is 20-24) and Women -who are way under-represented with respect to their relative share in total population, i.e. 50.8% of total population, 48.7% of adult population. Perhaps local lists are diverse enough to try to attract gender and demographic votes, but the ballot system is such only n°1 and n°2 are guaranteed a seat if their win is large enough, the others have a much lower chance to make it to Parliament house.
How many of these will manage to get a seat? Well, it depends on only too many things. in any case, there still is a definite strong emphasis on rural constituencies to the expenses of urban districts: following HCP figures, there should be 13Mln Urban adult eligible voters vs 8.5Mln rural potential voters.
Now we don’t have much information about the break-down per registered voters, but all indicators seem to point out that rural constituencies are allocated a lot more seats, in terms of total and adult population that is. Aousserd (pop. 73,000) retains two seats, while My Rachid district (pop. 207,000) retains 3 seats even though total population is 3 times higher. There are indeed some regional balances to be insured, but the fact of the matter is, even with the modest increases of seats in the Casablanca metropolitan area and in other cities (Tangiers and Temara-Skhirat for instance) there still is a sizeable advantage to rural seats, and some parties (PJD) may not, after all, benefit from the changes amid the increase of number of seats from 325 to 395.
The figures are out there, selected candidates denote of some effort put in presentational details, and the public shall see for themselves who is fit for office.