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Liberals win a majority of seats in Morocco’s parliamentary elections, defeating the Islamists




RABAT, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Morocco’s Liberal Party RNI won a majority of seats in the country’s parliamentary elections, followed by another liberal party, the PAM, while the moderate Islamist PJD co-government suffered a landslide defeat, preliminary results showed. on Thursday.

The RNI, led by billionaire Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch, won 97 of the 395-seat parliament, followed by the PAM with 82 seats and the conservative Istiqlal with 78 seats.

The PJD, which had been a coalition partner in the previous two governments, had won only 12 seats after a 96% turnout of all parliamentary seats. The results show a massive turnaround in wealth as the RNI had won just 37 seats in the last election in 2016, while the PJD took 125. The RNI ministers controlled the main economic portfolios of agriculture, finance, trade and tourism in the outgoing government. on Wednesday the election improved to 50.3%, from 43% in 2016, as Morocco held parliamentary and local elections on the same day. Morocco is a constitutional monarchy where the king holds comprehensive powers in the North African country. He elects the prime minister from the party that won the most seats in parliament, which will then form a cabinet and submits it to the King for approval. read more The palace has the final say in appointments to key departments including interior, foreign affairs and defense.

The new voting rules were expected to make it more difficult for the larger parties to win as many seats as before, which means that the RNI will have to enter into coalition talks to form a government.

The palace also sets the economic agenda for the country of 37 million people and has commissioned a development model that the new government is being asked to implement.

In a statement Wednesday, the PJD accused rivals of buying votes, without mentioning any or giving details.

Despite being the largest party since 2011, the PJD has failed to stop laws it opposes, including one to strengthen the French language in education and another to allow cannabis for medical use.

The PJD will join the opposition if it does not win the election, Lahcen Daoudi, a former PJD minister, told reporters.

(This story corrects adding words dropped in paragraph 9)

Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Edited by Christopher Cushing & Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: Principles of Trust by Thomson Reuters.




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