Moroccan Islamists hopeful of victory in parliamentary vote

Moroccan Islamists hopeful of victory in parliamentary vote

Moroccan Islamists were hopeful of victory in Friday's parliamentary election, which was held after the adoption last summer of a new constitution that gave greater powers to lawmakers in the North African kingdom following the Arab Spring uprisings, dpa reported.

Abdelilah Benkirane, secretary-general of the moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD), said he hoped the party would pass from opposition into government.

Under the new constitution, which Moroccans approved in a July referendum, the king, who retains full authority over the military and religious affairs, must chose the next prime minister from the party that wins most seats in parliament.

"Voting for the PJD means voting in favour of a programme to solve the problems the country is facing, especially in the areas of education and health," Benkirane said.

Observers gave the PJD - currently the second-largest bloc in parliament - good chances of victory, pointing to Islamists in neighbouring Tunisia who last month won the country's first democratic election after a popular uprising.

Government spokesman Khalid Naciri also hailed a "historic transition."

King Mohammed VI, who hails from a monarchy that has ruled Morocco for 350 years, introduced reforms in a new constitution last summer to try an appease disenchanted Moroccans and prevent a popular revolt against his rule similar to uprisings that toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

About 13.5 million people were eligible to vote in the election, which sees more than 7,000 candidates from 33 parties vie for a seat in parliament. King Mohammed called the election almost a year ahead of time.

The new constitution also grants more powers to the prime minister and parliament.

The biggest party in the outgoing parliament is the nationalist party Istiqlal, whose leader Abbas el-Fassi heads a coalition government.

The PJD also faces a challenge from the newly formed Coalition for Democracy, an alliance of eight parties that includes a pro-monarchy group.

Morocco's proportional representation system makes it difficult for any party to win an absolute majority. If the PJD won the elections, it would probably have to form a coalition with secularist parties.

Morocco's February 20 protest movement, which has been trying to emulate Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, called on citizens to boycott the elections. It says the constitutional reforms are insufficient.

Thousands of February 20 activists held protests against the election in several Moroccan cities.

Turnout was about 22.4 per cent by the afternoon. Polls were due to close at 9 pm (2100 GMT).

Sixty of the 395 parliamentary seats are reserved exclusively for women, and 30 seats for young people.

About 4,000 national and international observers were present to ensure transparency amid PJD concern that the elections may be rigged to keep it out of power.

Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 14
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 14
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 65,000
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 65,000
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 12
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 12
Loading Bars
Latest
Exports of several oil products from Iran shrink
Kazakhstan's preliminary oil extraction data indicates drop - OPEC
Coffee prices up in Georgia
Georgia observing economic recovery - minister
Goldman Sachs profit jumps on record global dealmaking
Iran’s Alborz Province exports fishery products
Azerbaijani citizens can visit dozens of countries without visa - Henley&Partners
Ukrainian deputy PM visits Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan took huge step towards achieving its national dream - President of Belarus
Turkmenistan reveals volume of allocated loans in national currency
Relations between Azerbaijan and Belarus are far from any problems - President Aliyev
1Q2021 volume of electricity generation by Azerbaijani TPPs down
Azerbaijani, Belarus presidents made press statements (PHOTO)
Turkey reveals volume of cargo shipment via local ports from Netherlands
Azerbaijani, Belarusian presidents sign bilateral documents (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Energy Ministry, IFC sign Memorandum of Understanding on offshore wind energy (PHOTO)
We created new reality by shedding blood, everyone should reckon with us - President Aliyev
Armenia took advantage of Heydar Aliyev’s dismissal from all posts - Azerbaijani president
IEA expects growth in Azerbaijan’s oil output
Our Victory is not only victory of our people, entire Turkic world is proud of it - Azerbaijani president
2M2021 data on cargo shipment via Turkish Mersin port disclosed
Popular Front-Musavat were selling gasoline to Armenia - Azerbaijani president
Armenia - country with bowed head, and it will always be the case - President Aliyev
Certain revengeful forces raising their heads should know that iron fist remains in place - Azerbaijani president
Iran and Russia extend bilateral cooperation
During war, they wanted to introduce sanctions against us - President Aliyev
Russia records over 8,300 daily COVID-19 cases
War Trophy Park in Baku illustrating aggressive nature of Armenia
Value of Russian imports of Turkish ready-made clothes disclosed
EU to borrow around 150 billion euros annually for recovery fund
Azerbaijan’s average compliance with OPEC+ deal up - IEA
US imports of Turkish electrical goods grow in value
Moody’s discloses forecast on growth of Azerbaijan's economy for next 3 years
President Aliyev on transfer of Irevan to Armenia: I condemned this decision, we should not obscure history
I have been saying that second Armenian state will never be created in our lands - Azerbaijani president
Baku Military Trophy Park - message for revenge seekers, says Azerbaijani expert (VIDEO)
I did not yield an inch on Karabakh issue - Azerbaijani president
Axpo expanding its business in renewable energies
In 2003, scum of PFPA-Musavat tandem attempted military coup, but it did not work - President Aliyev
I promised that I would defend territorial integrity, and I kept my word - President Aliyev
Army with 10,000 deserters is a disgrace - President Aliyev
Czech Republic interested in number of areas of Turkmenistan
Azerbaijani president about PFPA-Musavat tandem: In order to save themselves, they had to turn to Heydar Aliyev
Georgian Deputy Finance Minister comments IMF forecasts for Georgia
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 14
Number of job seekers from Turkey in Germany decreased
Azerbaijani banks showing great interest in attracting funds via swap method
Defense minister at time promised that if Shusha was surrendered, he'd shoot himself - President Aliyev
Then leader of junta, Sargsyan, promised me to return our lands in aftermath of that bitter defeat - President Aliyev
Heydar Aliyev was main target for Armenians of world - Azerbaijani president
Everyone visiting Military Trophy Park will see strength of our army - Azerbaijani president
We won an unprecedented victory - President Aliyev
Uzbekistan to double trade volume with neighboring countries
Iran's polyethylene exports rise (UPDATE)
South Africa says downpayments to J&J, Pfizer not refundable
EasyJet sees Europe open for travel from late May
Iran’s GTC continues to purchase wheat from farmers
Azerbaijan boosts electricity production volume
Uzbekistan to finance investment projects in Tashkent city
Natanz incident not to hamper Iran's efforts to revive JCPOA - former MP
Iran to pursue expansion of housing
Iran's Atomic Organization discusses enrichment of uranium
Iran to return to JCPOA after other parties fulfill commitments - President Rouhani
Azerbaijan developing transit trade by using advanced int'l experience
Georgian international airports see decrease in passenger traffic
AzeriCard processing center to suspend payment operations in Azerbaijan due to service update
Czech Republic plans to increase volume of mutual trade with Turkmenistan
Turkey's defense industry developing even better despite import sanctions
IMF shares outlook on Azerbaijan's natural gas export for 2021-2022
Georgia reports 1,085 coronavirus cases for April 14
Hungarian Wizz Air to return to Georgian aviation sector
Investments in Kazakhstan's fixed assets down
Unique for Central Asia tourist complex launched in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan Banks Association seeks to create special mobile banking platforms
Azerbaijan needs to ensure efficient online opening of bank accounts - ABA head
Russia allows supply of peppers, tomatoes from some Uzbek enterprises
Azerbaijani, Belarus presidents hold one-on-one meeting (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan, Germany discuss issues of co-op on transport sector
Sales of Iranian mining companies grow
GiLTEX welcomes customers in new Sumgayit shop (PHOTO)
Hungarian companies may take part in business forum on restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated lands
Kazakhstan's agriculture output surges over 1Q2021
Azerbaijani Central Bank to facilitate growth of countrywide mobile banking
Half of allocated for cotton land sown in Turkmenistan’s Mary region
Iran to create infrastructures in industrial parks of Qazvin Province
Azerbaijani insurance, financial companies eye to be integrated with ASAN Login
Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia to expand co-op in tourism sector
Georgia preparing to place Eurobonds on London Stock Exchange
Georgia holds auction of thermal water company's privatization
Shares of Turkmenistan’s Senagat Joint-Stock Commercial Bank to be put on sale
Iranian energy minister talks about water, electricity facilities to be launched
Gold, silver prices rebound in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan developing mobile platform for money transfers
Azerbaijani SOCAR names amount of recently realized investment projects
IMF expects Azerbaijan’s gas output to rise in 2021
Azerbaijan eyes expanding multimodal cargo transportation with Ukraine
UAE partners with Japan's iSpace to send rover to the moon in 2022
Activities of Iran’s Jask port expand
Iran boosts exports of agricultural products
Georgia aims to ensure sustainable development of wine industry
All news