MOROCCO’s parliamentary and municipal elections concluded last week, thus ending the chapter of the populist discourse of the Islamic factions that had benefited from the wave of the so-called “Arab Spring” through which they dominated the government and parliament for ten years.
During that decade, Moroccans witnessed the greatest disappointment. At one point, they thought these factions would better their welfare, but they experienced bitterness again and again until they were fed up with the political fabrications, especially after the Islamists tried to cling to the last government through the mosaic of a hybrid alliance with forces opposing it in schemes and thoughts.
Moroccans are well aware that the picture with which the recent elections ended is not different from what it was during the period between 1970s and 1990s when the socialist left dominated the street based on the strength of the rhetoric of pan-Arabism that proved to be unrealistic on the ground.
Nonetheless, given that democracy in the Kingdom of Morocco is based on a firm foundation and consistent royal endeavor to meet popular demands, the late King Hassan II granted the Socialist Union of Popular Forces the head of government after the 1998 elections, and the backwash of that era.
At that time, the historical opposition leader Abdul-Rahman Al-Youssoufi was chosen for the position of Prime Minister. He was given significant authority in the hope that he would achieve for Moroccans the least of what his party was calling for.
This led to his major defeat in the first elections held during the reign of King Mohammed VI in 2002, from which the party entered into semi-popular isolation.
In 2011, after the Muslim Brotherhood Group’s political faction the Justice and Development Party won the parliamentary elections, the systematic process of the Muslim Brotherhood Group’s deception began throughout the Arab world, to the extent of borrowing slogans of the Lebanese Hezbollah for the “divine victory” for this group. However, today the majority of Moroccans thank King Mohammed VI for giving that party ten years to rule in order to reveal its true colors.
During its decade-long rule, the party did nothing worth mentioning. Instead, it helped abort the reforms that were achieved between 1999 and 2011, by cultivating its followers in institutions, which made corruption rampant in many of them, and prompted the king to personally oversee every small and big aspect in the country.
The king went on to organize field tours to see the conditions of the people, especially in Al Hoceima and Agadir, which were the first areas to reject the practices of the Muslim Brotherhood Group government.
Therefore, when the Justice and Development Party suffers this resounding defeat, it means the Muslim Brotherhood Group has become by virtue of the historical wind, especially after their defeat in Egypt, Tunisia, and the rest of the Arab world.
Today, after the sweeping victory of the National Rally of Independents (NRI), it is faced with the challenge of meeting the aspirations of Moroccans, implementing its electoral program titled “100 days for 100 cities” as announced by its president Aziz Akhannouch, and working to achieve citizens’ demands for social security and good health services, the allocation of monthly stipend for the elderly, providing one million job opportunities, and improving the administration’s relationship with the citizens and dedicating it to public service.
In fact, this program stems from the core of the royal speeches in which King Mohammed VI repeatedly stressed the need to launch an institutional workshop to achieve more social security.
That is why the NRI are now under the microscope of the people. Those who know the Moroccan people are well aware that it is very difficult to deceive them, especially since they are familiar with the democratic games. The royal court is keen about working on the nation’s development and progress, because it considers the people as its main ally and gives them the freedom of choice.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times