Liberals topple Islamist party in Morocco elections

Rabat, Sep 9 (EFE).- Morocco’s Islamist party, which has been in power for over a decade, was defeated Thursday by liberal rivals in parliamentary elections, preliminary results showed.

The Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) won only 12 seats in the country’s 395-member legislature, losing 90% of the seats it got in 2016, according to the early results announced with 96% of the vote counted.

The liberal National Rally of Independents (RNI), led by Aziz Akhannouch, the second richest man in the country and current agriculture minister, snatched 97 seats to become the largest party in Parliament.

In a press conference, Akhannouch  thanked Moroccans for their trust and said that his victory in the parliamentary elections was a “clear expression of popular will for change.”

Creating one million jobs, raising the minimum wage for teachers and doctors and increasing aid for low-income families were among Akhannouch’s campaign promises aiming to overcome the financial and sanitary crises induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) came in second, garnering 82 seats, while the conservative Istiqbal Party came third with 78 seats.

This was the first time parliamentary and municipal and regional elections take place simultaneously in the North African nation, following electoral amendments. EFE


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