A forum devoted to current political, economic trends, and news of the Maghreb region.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ahead of Morocco's Communal elections

I have been in Morocco for a few days now and have been following the various debates ahead of the communal elections. It seems that old electoral practices are alive and well. There is a complete disregard for campaign rules and an utter disinterest and cynicism on the part of most Moroccans I talked to. A feeling of futility dominates most conversations on these elections. There are also some new developments in the Moroccan political scene. The party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), which just announced its departure from the government coalition and joined the opposition, benefits from a wider coverage in Moroccan newspapers and web blogs. The party of Fouad Ali-Himma seems destined to victory in most of the 22,000+ communes subject to the June 12th electoral contest. Out of 96 deputies who changed political affiliations, in what has been labeled as an act of "transhumance," 50 joined PAM. Sources tell Journal Hebdomadaire that several of those (maybe 20 candidates) have been refused by the Ministry of the Interior. Le Maroc Hebdomadaire online featured the battle between Ali-Himma and the Ministry of the Interior in its May 22 issue. This massive political exodus towards PAM is unparalleled in Moroccan politics and showcases the fragility and ideological immaturity of most political parties in the kingdom. PAM has created a palpable malaise within Morocco's political parties with its populist and pragmatic approach to politics. So as I close these lines, I keep wondering about that day when our politicians would reach the level where they can show genuine strategic, rational and ideological vision.

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