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With an Islamist Electoral Victory, Morocco Forced to Adopt Political Cohabitation

The North Africa Journal | With less than half the eligible voters going into the voting booths on Friday, the Moroccans woke up on Saturday with the news that the Islamists of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) were bracing to form a coaltion government.
Despite being considered a moderate Islamist organization, the PJD has long been chastised and vilified for not fully toeing the line to the Monarchy. And now with its rise into governance, the PJD in some sense is forming a soft challenge to the long-established power of those surrounding the Palace. How will this challenge take form remains to be seen, but pledges to combat corruption indicate that the PJD could end up clashing with many among the power elite.
The rise of the Islamists means that even though the Moroccan Revolution never took place as it did in Tunisia,  Libya, Egypt and now in Yemen and Syria, the pro-democracy movement still managed to pave the way for the start of pluralism in governance.  
In the short term, the PJD’s victory will enable it to form a coalition government. Early official results announced by Interior Minister Taib Cherkaoui based on more than two-thirds of the Constituency showed the PJD winning 80 seats of the Friday vote. The final results for the 395 Members of the House will be announced Sunday.
The PJD, which until now was the leading opposition party with 47 seats, has announced its readiness to open negotiations with other political parties to form a coalition government. Such stance was confirmed by the party leader Abdelilah Benkirane to a number of news agencies.
The secular parties managed weaker performances, with the old Istiqlal party of Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi gaining just about 45 seats. The National Rally of Independents (RNI) and the Authenticity and Modernity Party (WFP), two liberal formations linked to the Monarchy, won respectively 38 and 33 seats.

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