Marrakech – Morocco, which many would like us to believe to be a country of exception that has been able to stand fast and fare peacefully through the upheavals of the spring that shook the stability of the long standing establishments in the region, might be proving to lack political sustainability and social durability to its transition.
In fact, the capitalization of the assets of the political mobilization that ensued the June 9 speech of the king was rather short of long term inspiration. The quasi unanimity around the constitution and adherence to the democratic process which has led naturally to a consensual coalition government conducted by the winning party dissipated as soon as the government had been set up.
The changes occurring in the leadership of the various political parties within the coalition, on the one hand, and the ascent to power of parties of Islamist obedience in other spring countries, coupled with the ideological and strategic support of Turkey and Qatar, on the other hand, have given the leading party an insatiable appetite for power that did not correspond to political realities. The result was the withdrawal from the government of the major party of the coalition wreaking confusion and uncertainty on the Moroccan political scene. The failure to negotiate a new coalition within reasonable time confirms the vulnerability of the whole governmental setup as provided for in the constitution given the current electoral mode and the high number of parties competing for power.
While the governmental crisis may be overcome shortly, the cost will be high, both to the party leading the coalition and that to take over from the desisting one. Because both parties are aware that having to associate with a fierce former foe that everything from ideology to cultural choices and political and economic options set them apart, the negotiations will be difficult to have a win-win outcome. Whatever the outcome of these negotiations, should it result in a new coalition, it will jeopardize the still brittle credibility of the political and democratization processes of the country which could exacerbate risk factors to the stability of the Kingdom.
The lame government, which has been operating for quite a few months with ministers who have resigned and whose responsibilities are theoretically limited to dispatching day-to-day business, is making decisions raising prices of milk, fuel and other products. The opposition can but seize the opportunity to intensify its headlong opportunistic militant actions triggering strikes in highly sensitive sectors such as public transportation oblivious of any unexpected undesirable side effects. Observers wonder whether the feud between the opposing parties is not a competition for leadership among equally ambitious individuals for the same seat and has nothing to do with any government or political issues. The question ceases to be rhetorical when the personal histories of the antagonists are looked at closely. In other words, much of the apparent political nature of the causes of the discord among the two parties is neither ideological nor a case of difference of fundamental choices.
In fact, despite the difference of the historical trajectory and of their genesis, both parties are essentially conservative, deeply royalist, liberal, and populist. Both play the strings of region although on different ranges and melodies. Likewise, both have more allegiance to big business rather than to the populace although they both court the latter through a populist discourse and the traditional rituals of labor unions. Being cousin or sibling organizations having in common much of their ideological background, their competition for the same heritage and the same legitimating resources can become very violent especially that because they were not raised in the same household, they have no brotherly feelings for each other. The complexity of the conflicts that make it difficult for these two parties to coexist lies in the intricacies of the mechanisms that separated within the same compound the concubines and the legitimate wives and that caused them to be raised to privileged statuses and to fall into disgrace without them ever knowing why.
In short, they are all playing in the same ground that has been designed for them according to a script that keeps changing in the middle of shows without them being aware of that. Nervousness can be felt at the corner of every street, mistrust is gaining minds and hearts, and disappointment is heating up spirits. Unless politics is rehabilitated and horizons of hope are opened again, the future will remain uncertain and the conditions for the much hailed exception to be confirmed will not be so obvious to meet.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed