The Moorish Wanderer

Une Théorie du Jeu des Coalitions

Posted in Flash News, Intikhabates-Elections, Moroccan Politics & Economics, Morocco, Read & Heard by Zouhair ABH on October 20, 2013

Maintenant que la nouvelle coalition gouvernementale est en place, je me dois d’expliquer l’inadéquation d’un pronostic présenté dans un post précédent sur la non-crédibilité du retrait de l’Istiqlal de la coalition post-Novembre 2011. L’argument s’articulait sur un arbitrage portefeuilles ministériels et majorité parlementaire, qui a été invalidé précisément par la distribution des maroquins dans le gouvernement Benkirane II. D’autres hypothèses attachées à la formulation de la théorie (un jeu en une seule période plutôt qu’à coups successifs) se sont aussi avérées défectueuses.

Malgré tout je persiste à soutenir que les interactions du champ politique marocain se prêtent très bien à une modélisation faisant intervenir des mécanismes de comportements rationnels, même si la réalité ne semble pas à priori, exhiber une logique rationnelle dans les comportements de nos politiciens. Ce décalage est à mettre au compte du jeu politique lui-même, sans pour autant remettre en cause l’application systématique de ces principes décrits plus hauts.

Il est toujours intéressant d’observer quelques données empiriques issues des diverses élections législatives tenues depuis 1963: après tout, l’expérience des coalitions gouvernementales précédentes contient suffisamment d’informations quant aux habitudes de négociation des politiciens dans la formation de la majorité, et ce abstraction faite des limitations de la campagne électorale ou de la validité des résultats eux-mêmes; On peut convenablement considérer les tailles des différents groupes parlementaires ex nihilo pour la principale raison que le gouvernement doit se mettre à l’abri de motions de censure, ou encore de votes adverses sur des projets vitaux (comme la Loi de Finances).

Une brève estimation du lien entre majorité gouvernementale et divers facteurs, comme le nombre de membres de la coalition, l’identité partisane du Premier Ministre (ou Chef du Gouvernement) l’identité partisane du Parti leader dans la coalition majoritaire, et enfin le nombre de partis représentés dans l’hémicycle.

Le cas simple d'une représentation bipartite illustre l'effet disproportionné d'un éclatement de la représentation en parlement

Le cas simple d’une représentation bipartite illustre l’effet disproportionné d’un éclatement de la représentation en parlement. La Balkanisation oblige la coalition majoritaire à être plus large, et inévitablement hétéroclite.

Le lien entre la majorité parlementaire et le nombre de partis représentés est suffisamment fort pour donner une justification quantitative à un lieu commun: un parlement éclaté (balkanisé) handicape sévèrement la formation d’une coalition majoritaire. Chaque parti représenté par un seul député est capable de forcer la coalition majoritaire à chercher 4% supplémentaires de sièges. Pour avoir une idée du pouvoir de nuisance qu’exerce une représentation balkanisée au Parlement, un député sur 395 (ou un parti représenté par un seul député) peut forcer la coalition gouvernementale à chercher 16 députés d’un seul groupe (ou d’un seul parti)

De plus, l’identité partisane du chef de la coalition semble avoir un effet significatif sur la composition de la majorité gouvernementale: les partis de la Koutla (USFP et PI) ont plus de difficultés à composer leurs coalitions respectives que les non-Koutla (RNI, UC ou PJD) une probabilité 10% plus élevée à former une large coalition. Différentes raisons expliquent cet écart, mais il est intéressant de noter que si l’on considère les prochaines législatives de 2016 comme une compétition PI/PJD, ce dernier a un avantage additionnel à former plus facilement une coalition majoritaire. Koutla_NoKoutlaOn observe aussi que l’arrivée des partis de la Koutla à la position principale de chef de coalition coïncide avec la multiplication des partis représentés au Parlement, un résultat confirmé par la différence majorité en absolue (abstraction faite de la taille des parlements issues des différentes élections considérées) une moyenne de 13 sièges lorsque l’Istiqlal ou l’USFP étaient chefs de coalition gouvernementale, 50 sièges en moyenne pour les autres partis (FDIC, RNI, UC, PJD) ou lorsque le gouvernement est dirigé par une personnalité apartisane. Il est à noter que l’étiquette partisane du Chef du Gouvernement (ou Premier Ministre) compte peu dans la taille de la coalition gouvernementale, ce qui implique que les interactions de formation de coalitions majoritaires sont principalement liées au degré d’éclatement des groupes parlementaires.

Les résultats décrits suggèrent donc une contrainte supplémentaire pour le parti-leader à former sa coalition, en l’occurrence le nombre de partis représentés au parlement. Dans le cas du PJD, il s’agit de trouver la plus petite combinaison de partis alliés pour obtenir 198 sièges. Paradoxalement, il est plus difficile de réunir cette coalition lorsque le nombre de partis au Parlement est très large; cela explique les difficultés successives de M. Youssoufi en 2002 (et l’échec à former une coalition sous le leadership de l’USFP) ou M. El Fassi en 2007. La première erreur était de sous-estimer l’effet disproportionné qu’exercent les petits partis sur les chances de création d’une majorité stable: si ceux-ci ont peu de chance de faire partie de la coalition elle-même, leur existence affaiblit les plus larges partis dans la taille de leurs groupes respectifs,

Dans l’absolu, trois partis sont suffisants pour réaliser une coalition majoritaire: PJD, Istiqlal et RNI. Or cette coalition est instable car le PJD a une incitation à chercher à diluer la force de ses alliés en proposant à des groupes parlementaires moins importants de les remplacer – de même, les alliés les plus importants dans le coalition gouvernementale peuvent créer des difficultés en faisant un chantage (dont les retombées sont difficiles pour ma part à inclure dans la formalisation proposée)

Chaque coalition formée débouche sur des incitations pour les "nouveaux" alliés (et le chef de coalition) à chercher à la déstabiliser

Chaque coalition formée débouche sur des incitations pour les “nouveaux” alliés (et le chef de coalition) à chercher à la déstabiliser

Comme on peut le voir sur le schéma ci-dessus, la seule solution viable pour le PJD à former une coalition dont il contrôlerait la stabilité est de paradoxalement la diluer en admettant un nombre plus élevé que nécessaire d’alliés, affaiblissant ainsi par l’occasion la viabilité du gouvernement. Le seul cas de figure où une coalition stable est viable serait lorsque le PJD (qui par les règles du jeu de coalition en fait forcément parti) a besoin d’autant de siège que le plus petit allié peut offrir: dans ce cas, c’est avoir 178 sièges pour les 20 du PPS.

PJD’s “Pocket Landslide”

Posted in Flash News, Intikhabates-Elections, Morocco, Read & Heard, Tiny bit of Politics by Zouhair ABH on December 8, 2012

A little over one year after PJD‘s victory, it would be interesting to look at what is already their electoral legacy, or indeed the lack of real appreciation of how important it is. Not matter how past electoral results come under criticism, they have been de facto the law of the land – whatever the real results following the 2002 elections, all parties agreed to the official results, and these have been validated as such. And it would be better, I think, if this criticism was laid aside, especially since the 2002 election did give PJD a clear win, were it not for the diluting proportional ballot.

Majorities are 'easier' to form when the ballot system weighs in pluralities in districts

Majorities are ‘easier’ to form when the ballot system weighs in pluralities in districts

In general terms, I describe a method that points to majority-based ballot system as a good indicator of how political parties can improve their probabilities of forming a government by themselves, thus delivering stable governments and even more stable parliamentary majorities.

PJD’s victory in 2011 was a pocket landslide because the party was 65 seats short of an absolute majority – even if it was well ahead of its nearest competitor. A majority-based ballot system could have delivered the absolute majority they needed. Their feat was only matched by the joint USFP-PI 1993 campaign. Unfortunately for PJD, they are in a coalition with parties directly (and adversely) affected by any re-districting, or majority-based ballot system. (read here the theoretical argument against coordinated effort among political parties)

This is how I compute these majorities: for a particular district, all of the seats are allocated to the party with a plurality of votes. The simplest, crudest rule of politics – and poker: winner takes all. On the basis of this principle, the electoral map since 1963 is radically changed. I further consolidated party performances by aggregating split-offs – which leads to 13 big ‘partisan conglomerates’ – and these results tell a story: a consolidated political competition over parliamentary control allows for larger probabilities of reaching an absolute majority (in the cases of seats open for local ballot) and these contradict the final outcomes observed over the past couple of elections; for one, the 1997 Alternance would have been led by Istiqlal instead of USFP, and 2002, not 2011 would have been PJD’s coronation. But then again, efficiency is not Morocco’s forte.

These results can then be compared against the probabilities of each party to get a majority of the votes. These probabilities are computed on the basis of past electoral results – with increasing weightings for more recent electoral campaigns. And I am pleased that up to 92% of the historical results are explained by the following, rather simple linear model: V(\max_{i,j})=\sum\limits_{p_{k,i,j}}^n\alpha_k \mathbb{E} \left[V(P_{k,i,j})\right]+\epsilon_{k,i,j}

where \alpha_k the estimated probability for a party k to get the plurality in a district i. These parameters need not sum over 1, because there are a lot of cross-party historical votes. This confirm my earlier claim about PJD’s robust position on its 2016 prospects, as well as the need to go for a majority-based system – some parties have clearly more chances to get the majority, while others do not (those have been taken out of the fitting because of the statistical insignificant results)

      Source |       SS       df       MS              Number of obs =     153
-------------+------------------------------           F(  6,   147) =  292.75
       Model |  5.1894e+10     6  8.6491e+09           Prob > F      =  0.0000
    Residual |  4.3430e+09   147  29544400.6           R-squared     =  0.9228
-------------+------------------------------           Adj R-squared =  0.9196
       Total |  5.6237e+10   153   367564886           Root MSE      =  5435.5
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         max |      Coef.   Std. Err.      t    P>|t|     [95% Conf. Interval]
-------------+----------------------------------------------------------------
     pnd_pam |   .2806256   .0863479     3.25   0.001      .109982    .4512693
     rni_ind |   .4540341   .1007729     4.51   0.000     .2548834    .6531848
    mpdc_pjd |   .5029201   .0445715    11.28   0.000     .4148364    .5910038
          pi |   .3938989   .0974869     4.04   0.000      .201242    .5865558
     fdic_mp |   .2368222   .0761314     3.11   0.002     .0863687    .3872757
   unfp_usfp |   .3958337   .0742675     5.33   0.000     .2490639    .5426035
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As one can see, the next elections tend to favour PJD (with an estimated 50.2% chance of getting a vote majority on all seats – quite different from getting a majority of seats) although there are a couple of contenders, and an even stiffer competition between say RNI vs USFP, RNI vs PI, and finally, USFP vs PI. As for PAM, my estimate is they are not likely to get anywhere close to a serious contender for governing party.

In essence, PJD’s electoral legacy would be that of ‘breaking the mould’ of opposition parties: strong enough to have a large caucus, but too weak to force censure motions, and definitely unable to form a government on their own right. It would be a breakthrough legacy if PJD could force through an electoral reform that seeks to improve the chances of a one-party government. True, this would mean PJD is most likely to stay in office for the next decade, but this is about representative democracy.

Data description: seats are allocated to each district per each electoral districting. All of the seats are allocated to the party with a plurality of votes. Parties are merged afterwards when applicable.

 

Tangier By-Election

Posted in Flash News, Intikhabates-Elections, Morocco by Zouhair ABH on October 8, 2012

So results from the Tangier and Marrakesh by-elections are up; PJD holds on to these, but the 25/11 effect has most likely waned out.

First off, let us just make sure to point out some summary statistics about the Tangiers-Assilah district; there are 407,042 eligible adults for registration (computed from the 2004 Census) and only 269,000 to 299,000 registered voters. When it comes to the overall weight the PJD vote carries up North, about 1 adult in 9 voted PJD in November, and only 1 in 15 during this by-election. So clearly, just as it was the case for last November 25th, actual majority votes are not registered anywhere, and certainly not in the Tangier-Tetuan region.

These figures are too aggregated to allow for any meaningful, detailed analysis of the local political landscape, and certainly are not detailed enough to provide input for a ‘mid-term’ assessment of PJD’s electoral popularity; yet it looks as though this is some high watermark many observers have been looking for, though I would wait for the local elections (presumably scheduled for 2013) to make that judgement; but from what looks to be final results, there has been a swing of 15% against PJD and in favour of its nearest competitor. In absolute terms, while PJD maintains its hegemony as the main party, its lead over the second competitor narrows down from 33,000 to 14,800 – though there has been a swap between UC and PAM. In terms of electoral coefficient, the swing has been weakly more moderate – about 12.5%, which translated into losing one seat, thus gaining only two of the three opened slots.

In absolute numbers, PJD has undoubtedly lost votes: they had 43,000 in 2011, now they managed only 26,000. In relative contribution to turnout decline, smaller and other non-competing parties account for almost half the 41,030 shortfall in voters; on the other hand, PJD’s own vote decline accounts for 40%; when only those parties with more than 6% threshold are considered, about 84% of the overall turnout decline can be attributed to the sole PJD electoral performance. In short, this means the fall in turnout from last year is due to disaffected PJD supporters, who did not bother to turnout to polling station.

A lower 6% threshold should have guaranteed all seats for PJD, but because their turnout was weaker than aggregate results, they failed to do so.

One last comment: because smaller parties decided to get out of the race this year, the competition over the district suddenly the relative performances of the main parties (PJD, UC, PAM) becomes more prominent, as measures of concentration attest to that. It is getting less competitive in terms of number of competing parties, but the margin of victory (so to speak) has significantly narrowed for PJD in a reputed stronghold.

 

Quantitative Tales from Moroccan Politics

Résumé

suite du post précédent, comparaison des caractéristiques des groupes parlementaires entre 2007 et 2011 en utilisant l’analyse de composantes principales. Les résultats démontrent une cohérence entre les hypothèses évoquées plus tôt sur les déterminants du populisme, et permettent aussi une détermination des ‘types’ de groupes parlementaires.

The opposition-turned government PJD displays a significant degree of heterogeneity, just as USFP, but oddly enough, not Istiqlal (PI)

The graph speaks a thousands words: it scatters the selected intake of both 2007 and 2011 parliaments and assigns scores to these (the methodology can be found here, with the Stata functions described here as well)

The score plot displayed above (whose results are listed below this post) shows interesting results as to how our parliamentary caucuses between 2007 and 2011 are listed. These results challenge in part the common wisdom about Moroccan politics; If anything, I would gladly discuss the graph with the PSU/AGD leadership because as far as the pre-2011 elections go, there was potential for greatness. Most of its caucus is close to the bigwigs in parliament (USFP, PAM and the moderate PJD elements) and if it was not for its unrepresented leadership in parliament: Mohamed Sassi should have put a lot more fight in it when he stood for Rabat parliament in 2007, 3000 votes was certainly not enough, and yet splintered votes could have been gathered up:

RABAT MOUHET (212,644 voters)
Party                            |Votes      %  Seats
-----------------------------------------------------
Constitutional Union             |   3,250  06.4    -
Independence Party               |   2,715  05.4    -
Party of Justice and Development |  14,267  28.2    2
Popular Movement                 |   5,571  11.0    1
Socialist Union of Popular Forces|   5,367  10.6    1
Others (less than 6%)            |  19,384  38.3    -
-----------------------------------------------------
Total                               50,554          4

Well, that was about the democratic/radical left. The strange thing however (though it is no surprise, given the intellectual leadership controlling PAM caucus and party structures) is how fractured the ‘left-wing caucus’ -if there ever was: PPS caucus, the second-largest sub-caucus after USFP has been so diluted in its membership -as far as the selected parameters are concerned- it is the farthest on the map; ideology, populism as well as parliamentary leadership (neither Ismail Alaoui nor Nabil Benabdellah have succeeded in their respective bids for a seat in 2011 and 2007) so I should perhaps stop considering PPS to be anything near a nature fit in the grand ‘left-wing coalition’ (I was warned to that, but hey, I am a faithful follower of Saint Thomas) so we are left with PT (Benâtik) and PGVM (Fares-Zaidi) in parliament.

RNI-UC does not seem to be such a great fit after all; I had to make do with the available information (the parliament website displayed only caucuses on the database for the 2007 parliament) but then again, the score plot does not seem to splint them apart: most of these are grouped into two sub-groups, the closer one to PAM and others being made up mainly of RNI members, and perhaps those sympathetic to a strong alliance with the said party. (RCU stands for Rassemblement Constitutionnel Unifié, RNI and UC caucus together, though I cannot say if UC used to back up the government when their RNI bretheren were part of it) On the other hand, there is also the effect of RNI going over to the opposition after 2011; this in fact is the main determinant with the RCU cloud is split.

MP stands at odds with the idea of ‘large party’. While its caucus remained constant between 2007 and 2011, and switched sides quite often over the same period of times, it stood far away from the other large parties (those with representatives elected on the national ballot) which makes it similar to PPS, with murky ideology and no purpose as to its existence (its versatile nature in August 2009 and before the 2011 elections) makes it an establishment party, with some degree of internal cohesion, yet with no particular ideology (they should perhaps work on that Amazigh regionalism a bit more)

At least 5 groups can encompass 2007-2011 caucuses.

USFP and PJD’s caucuses ‘splintering’ is partly due to the same effect observed for RCU (their respective government/opposition swap between 2007 and 2011) and partly due to the more heterogeneous nature of their respective caucuses. From what I have heard (of reliable sources) party discipline is very stern in parliamentary proceedings – i.e. members are expected to vote the way their leadership wants, and pressure is eventually exerted when needed, especially for majority members. Yet USFP and PJD members (after they got into office) regularly challenge their leadership; if additional data about the voting record of each member were made available, the same analysis can be conducted to produce more finessed results.

In the finally analysis, it is possible to group caucuses between 2007 and 2011 into 5 large super-groups, the distances between each points providing a measure of distance according to the selected parameters.
This shows for instance a PAM-USFP alliance is not that stupid nor treacherous, and even a second PAM takeover on PSU is plausible enough.

Factor analysis/correlation                        Number of obs    =      599
    Method: principal-component factors            Retained factors =        4
    Rotation: (unrotated)                          Number of params =       26
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Factor  |   Eigenvalue   Difference        Proportion   Cumulative
    -------------+------------------------------------------------------------
        Factor1  |      2.19880      0.66075            0.2749       0.2749
        Factor2  |      1.53806      0.42188            0.1923       0.4671
        Factor3  |      1.11617      0.09060            0.1395       0.6066
        Factor4  |      1.02558      0.06937            0.1282       0.7348
        Factor5  |      0.95621      0.28168            0.1195       0.8544
        Factor6  |      0.67453      0.30509            0.0843       0.9387
        Factor7  |      0.36943      0.24820            0.0462       0.9848
        Factor8  |      0.12123            .            0.0152       1.0000
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LR test: independent vs. saturated:  chi2(28) = 1304.63 Prob>chi2 = 0.0000

Factor loadings (pattern matrix) and unique variances
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Variable |  Factor1   Factor2   Factor3   Factor4 |   Uniqueness 
    -------------+----------------------------------------+--------------
    populist_l~d |   0.8871   -0.2900    0.0011    0.0209 |      0.1285  
        district |  -0.0184    0.1063   -0.3451    0.5929 |      0.5178  
        ideology |   0.5594   -0.6318   -0.0388   -0.0258 |      0.2858  
           union |   0.7074   -0.0433    0.5114    0.2527 |      0.1724  
    leader_par~t |   0.5344    0.4837   -0.4356   -0.1917 |      0.2539  
       e_machine |   0.5529    0.6013   -0.2825   -0.1882 |      0.2175  
          gender |  -0.0193    0.0504    0.3258   -0.6823 |      0.4254  
         gov_opp |   0.0800    0.6661    0.5986    0.2673 |      0.1202  
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
Scoring coefficients (method = regression)
    ------------------------------------------------------
        Variable |  Factor1   Factor2   Factor3   Factor4 
    -------------+----------------------------------------
    populist_l~d |  0.40347  -0.18852   0.00100   0.02043 
        district | -0.00837   0.06909  -0.30922   0.57808 
        ideology |  0.25441  -0.41076  -0.03474  -0.02513 
           union |  0.32171  -0.02815   0.45818   0.24637 
    leader_par~t |  0.24306   0.31447  -0.39026  -0.18694 
       e_machine |  0.25147   0.39092  -0.25306  -0.18353 
          gender | -0.00879   0.03278   0.29189  -0.66528 
         gov_opp |  0.03636   0.43307   0.53631   0.26060 
    ------------------------------------------------------


Moroccan Elections for the Clueless Vol.12

I apparently have an all-too-serious approach to politics. So let me introduce my topic today with an AC/DC hit – “It’s a Long Way to the Top

I am -of course- referring to the cut-throat competition for candidates to get party endorsements to run for office in a particular district. Things get even murkier with pre-electoral elections, when some parties need to give way to other parties, so that the chaps leading the coalition get a larger caucus, and thus can properly claim government leadership. It seems some strong-arming is going on with A8 “Alliance for Democracy” candidates, some of them being pushed to make way for the now officially leader, RNI party.

So either M. Mezouar is the front-man (or the fall guy if things go awry) for PAM apparatus, or he has really developed some leadership skills meanwhile and has found his raison d’être: Head of His Majesty’s Government. But to do so, his alliance has first to win the election with a majority of seats, and his party needs to be first within that alliance as well. Consequently, some of his partners with nationwide representation will have to cut back on their caucus and pass on these seats to a stronger RNI caucus. This is bound to be acrimonious at best, and trigger some personal animosities;

Let me break it down in single terms: the whole A8 Alliance needs to get a majority of seats on all three levels: on both national ballots (women’s and youth’s) and on individual candidates. In order to do so, and assuming the new augmented number of seats is definitely 395 (OB  27-11 amended at second reading) then:

– 305 local seats

– 60 seats for Women’s ballot

– 30 seats for Youth ballot; it is worth mentioning that Art.23 puts restrictions on the Youth ballot by only allowing male candidates less than 40 years-old.

So, unless A8 Alliance guarantees a clear win with 153 seats locally carried with at least 50 seats in both national ballots to secure a smooth confirmation. The have to tighten their grip on these ballots by presenting strong candidacies, because national ballot seats are not cumulative with respect to the alliance’s result, but the performance of A8 individual components. There is a simple example to illustrate the paradox: RCU (RNI-UC) Women’s caucus is 5-members strong, that is a projected 16.7% of all 30 national Women ballot seats.

Note: discrepancy between 2007 elections and current caucus are 2 representatives defecting from other parties to RCU

But their 63 seats-strong locally elected caucus gathers 21.35% of all 295 local seats; the discrepancy has mainly to do with the nature of their post-electoral alliance there are some districts where RNI and UC candidates were up against one another, and the loser was strong enough to take away crucial votes from the winner, this weakening its majority, and so lowering likelihoods for the party’s winner to get enough votes and “push” for an additional seat on the national ballot.

This is to say that RNI candidates need to have an open fields before them, so as to maximize both their chances and RNI Women’s caucus. The Sad news are that in order to do so, RNI candidates need to take away some of these seats, including from their allies. And here comes the Zerkdi affair:

@bzerkdi Brahim Zerkdi

Je ne serai pas le candidat du MP aux legislatives du 25 Nov

Brahim Zerkdi is the Mouvement Populaire (MP) Representative for Agadir Ida Outanate district. Apparently, he has been told by the MP Parliamentary National Committee he should stand aside. The outgoing representative seems so pissed off at the decision and his party’s bosses he took a “sod it” attitude, and vented his frustration on Twitter; whether that was guileless anger or calculated strategy to pressure his party from the outside is not relevant to the topic at hand: A8 members are ready to ditch some of their strong candidates in order to make way for an RNI coronation. (as a matter of fact, he is so pissed off at his party he is ready to change horses way before he reaches the stream)

Rep. Zerkdi is just -as he puts it– the collateral damage of RNI‘s eagerness to reach the top; And the precise measure of how much RNI needs to win in terms of both local seats and national ballots can be more or less estimated with respect to the most obvious competitors’ showing; PJD can carry at most 60 seats (computed on the basis of 2007 elections results where the party managed to scrape more than 25% outright) and the only way to beat PJD to the top is obviously to deliver 65 seats at least.

And so, RNI is gunning for those districts they couldn’t carry in 2007: Taounate, Tangiers, Taroudant, Tan-Tan are safe bets, while decent results have been carried in Guelmim, Agadir, El-Jadida and Jerada, to name a few (these districts have voted, on average, 8 to 12% for RNI candidates) the strategy, it seems, is therefore to gain  30-ish seats -thus increasing their share in total caucus to 86 seats. The way I see it, MP, UC, PAM and the other smaller parties need to carry no less than 100 seats by themselves to deliver the workable majority of 200 seats. Game results, RNI beats PJD as leader party with 64-65 seats, and has the advantage of already bringing an electoral alliance together, a significant advantage, if PJD still manages to pull together a last-minute alliance with Istiqlal, USFP, PPS and a handful of other parties.

G8 Parties are holding a press conference at the moment it seems; they will, according to Minister Belkhayat, unveil their electoral manifesto Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Stay tuned.