Morocco Islamist party decries 'violations' at polls

Morocco Islamist party decries 'violations' at polls
2 min read
19 September, 2021
Morocco's Islamist party which lost last week's elections complained of what they called violations and irregularities at the polls.
The PJD lost 112 seats in the Sept. 8 parliamentary vote [AFP/Getty]

Morocco's moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), which was thrashed at last week's elections, on Sunday denounced "violations and irregularities" at the polls.

The PJD had headed Morocco's governing coalition for a decade but saw its support collapse at the September 8 vote, dropping from 125 of parliament's 395 seats to just 13.

Local elections held the same day confirmed the party's crushing defeat.

The party "denounces the violations and irregularities" at the polls, including "massive use of money", "manipulation of reports" and "names crossed off the electoral lists or appearing twice", it said in a statement following Saturday's extraordinary session of the party's national council.

These "forms of electoral corruption... led to the announcement of results that do not reflect the substance of the political map and the free will of the voters", the statement added.

Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit has said the voting process took "under normal circumstances" apart from isolated incidents.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI has named businessman Aziz Akhannouch to lead a new government after his National Rally of Independents (RNI), considered close to the palace, thrashed the PJD, winning 102 seats.

On voting day, the Islamists had alleged "serious irregularities", including "obscene cash handouts" near polling stations and "confusion" on some electoral rolls, with some voters finding they were not listed.

The RNI has started coalition talks, but the PJD has announced that it would switch to its "natural" position as the opposition.

The PJD "is at an important turning point", outgoing secretary-general Saad-Eddine El Othmani said Saturday at the party's closed-door meeting.