Morocco Islamists Lead Parliamentary Vote in Preliminary Result

  • Islamist PJD wins 99 seats versus 80 seats for its main rival
  • Vote was Morocco’s second since Arab Spring protests erupted

Morocco’s moderate Islamist party has won the most seats in parliamentary elections, according to preliminary results that the Interior Ministry released early Saturday.

Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane’s Justice and Development Party, known by its French acronym PJD, won 99 seats while its main rival, the Authenticity and Modernity Party, founded less than nine years ago by the king’s classmate and current adviser, Fouad Ali el-Himma, won 80 seats, according to the official MAP news agency. More than 90 percent of the votes have been counted, it reported.

Abdelilah Benkirane after the announcement of preliminary results on Oct 7.

Photographer: Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images

The vote on Friday for a new parliament was the kingdom’s second legislative election since the political unrest of the so-called Arab Spring, when, as elsewhere across the Middle East, protesters took to the streets demanding change. The monarch, King Mohammed VI, was quick to introduce constitutional amendments that delegated some of his near-absolute powers to a prime minister, helping Morocco avoid the violent unrest that swept other leaders in North Africa from power.

The Justice and Development Party won the 2011 elections and Benkirane’s government was the first in Morocco to be led by a moderate Islamist movement.

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