The November 25, 2011 elections in Morocco were considered a historic win for the Party of Justice and Development (PJD). The PJD, headed by Abdelillah Benkirane, won 107 of 395 seats in the lower house of parliament. The PJD is known to be a moderate Islamic party with an agenda founded upon achieving educational reform, forming economic partnerships with foreign countries, encouraging investment, increasing Arab and Muslim unity and enhancing democracy and human rights.
Post Election Statements Released by Abdelilah Benkirane, Secretary General of the PJD
What we claim, today, is to work together, in a democratic way, within the framework of balanced ties.
This statement was released right after the announcement of the provisional results of the parliamentary elections in which Benkirane vowed to uphold longstanding relationships with the United States and Europe.
Despite its Islamic leanings, the Justice and Development Party will not interfere in the affairs of Moroccans
In this statement Benkirane vowed that the PDJ would avoid meddling in controversial issues such as the consumption of alcohol or the wearing of headscarf.
With the PJD there will never be surprises
We are going to develop relations with the West
[The PDJ] is ready to form coalitions with the parties of the Koutla.The party remains open to other political parties, save for one political party with which we had big differences.
In this statement made to the Moroccan TV station 2M, Benkirane refers to an alliance composed of the Independence Party, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces and the Progress and Socialism Party. He refers to the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) as the political party with large ideological differences.
In addition to the events that precipitated the elections, the 2011 elections were also historic as they marked the first time in Morocco’s history in which history 60 seats were offered to women and 30 seat to candidates under the age of 40. However, despite the protests and hype surrounding the recent elections only 45% of the 13.4 million eligible voters participated. This is up from the 37% voter turnout in the last legislative elections in September 2007 but below the 51% turnout in the first legislative elections immediately following the enthronement of King Mohammad VI.
With 31 parties competing for 395 seats in the lower house of Parliament, the final results of the elections are as follows:
The Justice and Development Party (PJD): 107 seats
Independence Party (PI): 60 seats
National Rally for Independents (RNI): 52 seats
Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM): 47 seats
Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP): 39 seats
Popular Movement (MP): 32 seats
Constitutional Union (UC): 23 seats
Progress and Socialism Party (PPS): 18 seats
Labor Party (PT): 4 seats
Democratic and Social Movement (MDS): 2 seats
Renewal and Equity Party (PRE): 2 seats
Environment and Sustainable Development Party (PEDD): 2 Seats.
Al Ahd Addimocrati Party: 2 seats
Green left party (PGV): 1 seat
Freedom and Social Justice Party (PLJS): 1 seat
The Front of Democratic Forces (FFD): 1 seat
Party of Action (PA): 1 seat
Unity and democracy Party: 1 seat
Friday’s parliamentary elections are an important step in the on-going process of democratic reform in Morocco initiated by the King to respond to the demands and aspirations of the Moroccan people.
Quoted from a co-signed statement by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, and Stefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy.
I congratulate the Moroccan people on the successful completion of Friday’s parliamentary elections.
The hard work of building democracy does not end when the votes are tallied and the winners announced.
Hillary Clinton, The United States Secretary of State