Morocco World News
Morocco World News
New York, November 30, 2011
Although the victory of the Moroccan PJD in parliamentary elections of November 25th was very clear, it nevertheless remains quite fragile. Amidst the euphoria of his landslide victory, the Secretary General of the PJD, Abdelilah Benkirane, who has been designated by Mohammed VI for the post of prime minister, was quick to ask the Koutla-alliance of Istiqlal, USFP and PPS to join a possible government led by his party. It now seems he is considering other possibilities.
Indeed, several Islamist leaders have warned against any Benkirane alliance with the Socialists. They still speak of how Lachgar Driss, politburo member of the USFP and outgoing Minister of Relations with Parliament, had used the PJD during the elections in 2009. Initially, he called for an alliance in all cities between the PJD and the USFP. But as soon as the USFP was invited to join the government, he broke it off.
Another reason for Benkirane’s caution towards the Socialists is due to their ideological and doctrinal differences. Both parties are polar opposites with each other regarding their visions for society. They are often violently opposed on very sensitive issues such as the role of women in society, secularism, or the penal code.
According to sources close to the leadership of the PJD, Abdelilah Benkirane is trying to form a majority without relying on USFP and the PPS. Therefore, he personally called Mohand Laenser, the Secretary General of the Popular Movement party, which was dealt a crushing defeat in the elections. The boss of the Islamists and new head of government knows that the Popular Movement in its present circumstances is less demanding and more amenable.
Also in riding the wave of victory, the Islamist leader seeks to “bribe” some of the National Rally for Independence (RNI), the other big loser of these elections. Benkirane is already in contact with Aziz Akhennouch, Minister of Agriculture and an outgoing figurehead of the RNI. The Secretary General of the PJD understands the nature of these two parties: the MP and the RNI. He is aware that they cannot survive in the opposition because they consist mainly of notables, particularly susceptible to the lure of power.
Moreover, the PJD has already informed Istiqlal, an essential component of the Koutla, of its desire to exclude the leftist parties from the government. Istiqlal’s response was not long in coming. “Either all parties in the Koutla enter the new government, or they will all be in opposition,” said Adil Benhamza, a newly elected MP of Istiqlal and a columnist for Al Alam, the Arabic daily of the party. It is therefore expected that the PJD will suffer for the formation of his government. “They are in front of political parties well-versed in negotiation and state affairs. Both Istiqlal and the USFP can be formidable allies as much as they can be terrible foes,” said a close aide to Benkirane. The Islamists may soon become disillusioned.
Translated by Rajaa El Alami and edited by Benjamin Villanti
This content was translated in agreement with Maghreb Intelligence
The English version of the story is © Morocco World News