Monday, November 28, 2011

PJD wins 107 seats in Moroccan election

Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:47AM GMT
Justice and Development Party leader Abdelilah Benkirane (center) celebrates the party's victory in Morocco's parliamentary elections in Rabat on Sunday.
An Islamic party has won Morocco's parliamentary election, the final tally shows.

According to final results released on Sunday, two days after the landmark election, the Justice and Development Party (Parti de la Justice et du Développement, or PJD) won 107 seats in the 395-seat parliament, the Associated Press reported.

The Istiqlal party, which is headed by outgoing Prime Minister Abbas Al Fassi, was in second place with 60 seats, the Union of Progressive Socialist Forces finished in third place with 39 seats, and the former communist party took 18 seats.

The PJD has announced that it plans to form a coalition with all three parties. The alliance would have a majority of 224 seats.

King Mohammed VI now has to pick the next prime minister.

An eight-party coalition of pro-king parties only managed to win about 150 seats.

“The victory of the PJD is a historic step towards democracy, this is a point of no return,” party leader Abdelilah Benkirane said at news conference on Sunday night.

He added, “I promise a strong government that will give hope to Moroccans.”

Morocco's government said 45 percent of registered voters participated in the elections. A majority of eligible voters boycotted the poll, saying the monarchy's reforms were not sufficient.

The polls were held in the wake of the largest anti-government protests in decades, which forced King Mohammed VI to introduce constitutional reforms and announce early elections.

Under the new constitution, the monarch will hand over some of his powers to the parliament and prime minister, but he will still have the final say on issues of defense, security, and religion.


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