Chicago - In the midst of a hot Moroccan summer, Moroccans are preparing for a heated parliamentary election season in the next couple of months.
Chicago – In the midst of a hot Moroccan summer, Moroccans are preparing for a heated parliamentary election season in the next couple of months.
The result of which will reveal the coalition of the next Moroccan governments and cabinets. In preparation for the upcoming elections scheduled for October 7th, Moroccans are faced with the same faces that have tainted the political scene for decades.
In these couple of months, Moroccans are gearing up to choose their representatives in the Moroccan Parliament which determines what parties would lead the government in the next five years.
However, do they really have a choice?
Many Moroccans are attacking the current ruling Islamist Party PJD for their weak achievements, unpopular laws, and inflation that marked their term on the top of the government in the last 5 years. Others are gearing up and embracing alternative administrative parties whose leaders have been accused of corruption, or are lacking people’s trust.
During his last speech, King Mohammed VI called for Moroccans to “carefully choose their representatives”. While some Moroccans believed that the King’s speech was a call to discipline the political scene in Morocco, others are still frustrated about the slow reform process that his majesty is leading to fight corruption; they believe that the speech was just a necessary formality that happens before every election season. As a result many groups, famous artists and ordinary citizens are calling Moroccans to boycott the rigged upcoming elections. In light of the state’s protection of corruption, the majority of Moroccans lost faith in the system and gave up on politics or elections as a process for a better change.
The majority of Moroccans have lost trust in the over 35 political parties that present the same old corrupt faces; politicians who have been accused of corruption, embezzlement, and using their positions to enrich themselves and their families. When Moroccans see known corrupt politicians are appointed into key positions, and benefit from the state estates while earning millions of dirhams in pensions for doing nothing meaningful for the country, that could make them lose faith in the system.
A few weeks ago, reports came out that some already enriched politicians and public servants benefited from a state land purchase at a very low price. At the same time the majority of Moroccans suffer from poverty, lack of services in healthcare, and deteriorating educational system with mostly poor housing conditions, this translates into very low participation and turn out in elections.
Historically, the kingdom has rarely tried politicians and members of the oligarchy for corruption. This has frustrated Moroccans about the slow reform process and translated into low political participation in the past few elections.
Ironically, with high unemployment rates among college-educated Moroccan youth, many Moroccan politicians don’t even have a high school degree, yet they hold key functional positions within the parliament, are heads of political parties, and manage entire regions and local municipalities. This leads to a lack of confidence in the political system and the state’s will to seriously fight corruption. There have been calls to require a certain educational levels for members of the parliament, but in vain.
In Morocco the state does not only protect corruption, but contributes to it, and encourages corrupt politicians to continue to embezzle state’s funds at the expense of the livelihoods of ordinary hard-working Moroccans.
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