Morocco’s PAM and PJD win most seats in local elections

Morocco’s Authenticity and Modernity Party and Justice and Development Party lead local elections results

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People wait to vote at a polling station in the town of Tifelt, east of Rabat, Morocco September 4, 2015

Morocco’s Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) and Justice and Development Party, (PJD) secured most seats respectively in local elections held on Friday, according to preliminary results.

PAM was formed by a close ally of the Moroccan king, and PJD is a conservative party.

Morocco’s 15 million eligible voters were scheduled to vote on Friday, however turnout was 52 percent only, almost the same as in the last local elections in 2009.

As 80 percent of votes nationwide are counted, according to the Interior Ministry. PAM won 20 percent followed by the PJD with 17 percent, However PJD won seats in major cities such as Casablanca,Tangiers, Rabat and Agadir.

Abdelillah Benkirane, secretary-general of the Islamist Justice and Development party (PJD), leaves a booth before casting his ballot at a polling station in Rabat September 4, 2015

Morocco's governing PJD faced a major challenge as polls opened on Friday, in which most opposition parties have campaigned on anti-corruption platforms and against privileges for the elite.

Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane of the PJD party has repeatedly vowed to change "old regime" ways and fight corruption.

Under the new Moroccan constitution, the king has a tight grip on security, the army and religious affairs.

However no parties have directly challenged or disobeyed the king’s authorities except small leftist factions, who ultimately boycotted the vote.

"When I see what is happening elsewhere in the region, I see voting is the best way to protect our country," said Kenza, who is a recently graduated student at a polling station, to Reuters in downtown Rabat, declining to give her full name.



TRTWorld and agencies