Preliminary results in the just concluded parliamentary elections showed that Morocco’s liberal RNI party has won most seats.
This is followed by another liberal party, PAM, while co-ruling PJD suffered a jarring defeat.
Turnout in Wednesday elections improved to 50.3%, up from 43% in 2016.
Led by billionaire agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch, the RNI had 97 of the 395-seat parliament, followed by PAM which secured 82 seats and the conservative Istiqlal had 78 seats.
The PJD got only 12 seats after a count of 96% of all parliamentary seats. The results show a massive turnaround in fortunes as the RNI had only won 37 seats at the last election in 2016, while the PJD took 125.
In the outgoing government, RNI ministers controlled the key economic portfolios of finance, trade, agriculture, and tourism.
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy where the king holds sweeping powers in the North African country. He appoints the prime minister from the party with majority seats in parliament who will then form a cabinet and submits it for the King’s approval.
The Palace has the final say on appointments concerning key departments including the interior, foreign affairs and defence.
In a statement on Wednesday, the PJD accused rivals of buying votes, without naming any or providing details.
Despite having been the largest party since 2011, the PJD has failed to stop laws it opposes, including one to bolster the French language in education and another to allow cannabis for medical use.
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