Rabat - The Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) no longer has the number of seats required to constitute a parliamentary group, as the party lost its Sidi Ifni constituency following a decision by the Constitutional Court.
Rabat – The Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) no longer has the number of seats required to constitute a parliamentary group, as the party lost its Sidi Ifni constituency following a decision by the Constitutional Court.
The loss is significant, as the USFP is part of the government coalition, and the party’s leading member, Habib El Malki, is the Preeident of the House of Representative, the lower house of Moroccan parliament.
According to the internal rules of the house, a minimum of 20 seats is required to constitute a group. Therefore, the USFP lost its parliamentary group.
The court decision was issued on Tuesday after after a recount of the October 7 legislative elections ballots.
As a consequence, USFP MP Mohamed Belfkih was striped of his parliamentary seat along with the Justice and Development Party (PJD) MP Oumar Boumriss. The Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) candidate Mohamed Aboudrar was instead declared the winner.
The PAM, the main opposition force to the government, saw its number of parliament seats rise to 103 after the court’s ruling.
The USFP was founded in 1975, breaking away from the National Union of Popular Forces (UNFP). The party had been a major force of opposition to the rule of King Hassan II.
In 1998, the party’s former leader, Abderrahmane El Youssoufi, was appointed by Hassan II as prime minister.
The appointment was a milestone in Moroccan history as it was the first time an opposition figure was put in charge of leading the government.
In 2002, despite winning the general elections, the USFP did not lead the government, as King Mohammed VI appointed technocrat Driss Jettou as prime minister. In the elections that followed in 2007, 2011, and 2016, the party gradually lost its former appeal to become a minor political force.