By Nidal Chebbak
Fez – Few hours after his press conference in Rabat and the release of the final legislative elections results that confirmed the win of the PJD with 107 seats in the parliament, the PJD’s Secretary General Abdelilah Benkirane received a phone call from the Royal Palace.
A source from the General Secretariat of the Justice and Development Party confirmed that Abdelilah Benkirane who is also a candidate for Prime Minister of Morocco received an invitation later tonight to head to the Royal Palace, without giving any further details.
In his press conference, Abdelilah Benkirane said “we are waiting for His Majesty King Mohammed VI to name the Prime Minister from the PJD as the winning party, in order to start further discussions with the other parties.”
As many analysts have stated, the legislative elections of November 25 constitute a historic event, as it is the first elections under the new constitution that was adopted last July. Under new rules introduced earlier this year as part of a package of constitutional reforms backed by the king, the prime minister will be appointed from the biggest party in parliament.
Since his enthronement in 1999, King Mohammed has won international praise for his effort to promote of human rights in the country and lay the foundations of a genuine democratic system. But the reform drive of his earlier years in power has lost momentum in the last few years.
When demonstrations inspired by the Arab Spring flared in February, he revived the reform process with constitutional amendments that took the wind out of the protest movement.
Analysts expect the PJD to form a coalition with the Coalition of Democracy (Koutla) headed by Abbas El Fassi, outgoing Prime Minister, whose party won 60 seats in the elections.
The PJD needs 198 seats in order to have a majority in the parliament and form a new government. With number of seats obtained by the Koutla parties, the Istiklal (60 seats), the USFP (39 seats) and the PPS (18 seats), the PJD would not be in need for other parties outside of the Koutla to form a coalition.
This is the first time that the PJD will be entrusted with the task of heading the government, after it spent 14 years in opposition. In its first participation in the elections in 1997, it obtained 8 seats. In the first elections held under the rule of King Mohammed VI in 2002, it obtained 42 seats and it 2007 it won 47 seats and came in second position after the Istiqlal party, which won 52 seats.