Rabat - Morocco’s political scene has been a mess for the past few months leading up to the legislative elections. It has turned into a massive fight scene in a big-budget Hollywood movie, leaving the audience wondering who is the real hero and who is the bad guy.
Rabat – Morocco’s political scene has been a mess for the past few months leading up to the legislative elections. It has turned into a massive fight scene in a big-budget Hollywood movie, leaving the audience wondering who is the real hero and who is the bad guy.
Even though tension between political parties has always existed, recent events have made for the climax of the movie, starting from the sexual scandal connecting the two leading figures of the Movement of Unity and Reform (MUR), an adulterous liaison proven to be true after investigation.
The two were suspended from the MUR, leaving all of Morocco in deep shock and disappointed with the Justice and Development Party (PJD). As if that were not enough, rumors have recently been circulating about another scandal involving Abdallah Bouanou (PJD’s parliamentary group president) and the young deputy Itimad Zahidi, according to Ahdath.info and other Arabic online newspapers.
An unlikely alliance
At the time when everyone is questioning the PJD, Nabil Ben Abdallah – Secretary General of the Progress and Socialism Party – announced his support for Abdelilah Benkirane, beginning a new alliance between the two parties, something that no one saw coming, since both parties are ideologically different. This caused other parties to mock Nabil Ben Abdallah’s decision and cast doubt on his credibility. People are left wondering about the reasons behind this new alliance, and what made the Progress and Socialism Party president throw his party’s history and past out the window.
The unclear manifestation
On September the 18, many protestors gathered in Casablanca to rally against Islamists, waving around slogans such as “No to the country’s Islamisation” and “No to Benkirane’s government”. The march wasn’t covered by any of the public TV channels like 2M, Al Oula or the MAP agency.
But the strangest part was the online interviews done with the protestors, showing most of them saying things they don’t even understand. Shortly after the march, some young men posted a video complaining about how they were bribed and misled to join the protest. They had understood they were going to protest in support of the young woman Lamiaa Mouatamid, who recently shared a video of her online in prison describing her violent treatment at the hands of her “husband” of a forced marriage in Saudi Arabia, but ending up protesting against the current government.
All of the mystery surrounding the march prompted people to question the event and who’s behind it.
The Salafis and the elections
Sensitivity towards Salafists has increased after all the recent corruption scandals. It is only natural as a reaction to oppose any decision coming from the PJD, especially if it is nominating Salafists to the elections.
Marrakech’s governor opposed the PJD’s nomination of Salafi Hammad Kabajj as a candidate in the expected legislative elections of October 7
Kabbaj has an “attitude antithetical to the basic principles of democracy that the kingdom’s constitution acknowledges,” explained the governor.
However, the PJD’s president, Prime Minister Benkirane, justified his decision to nominate Kabbaj by his desire to integrate Salafists into politics.
The innocent party
While other parties are busy fighting, the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) is simply maintaining its image, with its Secretary General Ilias Ammari doing everything to keep his party’s credibility and image favorable. He is conducting outreach, including attending popular cafes and socializing with ordinary citizens, and placing an important number of women on the national and local electoral lists, which has caused him to gain support from different social groups.
Although many accused the PAM of planning the recent march, the party denied all these claims.
With the opening of the electoral campaign this Saturday, all we can do is grab some popcorn and keep making predictions on how this long-lasting movie is going to end in two weeks.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy