“In Morocco, the electoral scene is no longer the place of translation of the conflicts which affect society”

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Tribune. Following the triple ballot – legislative, regional and municipal – of September 8, the myth of the Moroccan exception is once again brought up to date. Since the announcement of the electoral collapse of the Justice and Development Party (PJD, from the Islamist matrix), some proclaim the failure of Islamism, while others marvel, once again , in front of the “Subtlety” of the Moroccan monarchy. While the said Islamists were crushed in blood in Egypt and wiped out after a “Coup” in Tunisia, ballot boxes “Transparent” would have allowed them to be dissolved in the kingdom.

Such accounts obscure the exacerbation of the representation crisis in Morocco. In this regard, the thesis of the failure of Islamism does not hold water. First, the PJD represents only one of the political tendencies with an Islamic frame of mind. Unlike the organization Justice et Bienfaisance, very present in the protest arena but which remains excluded from the established political game, the PJD has never contested the religious legitimacy of the king, Commander of the Believers.

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Second, it owes its triumph to the legislative elections of 2011 and 2016 as much to the electorate sensitive to its religious and identity values ​​as to the hopes it aroused among voters eager for an alternative political offer. They bet on a supposed political staff ” integrated “, likely to fight for the ” change ” and against corruption. Third, the PJD did not lose its electorate because it allegedly implemented an Islamist policy that turned out to be inefficient. In the eyes of a section of public opinion, it turned out to be a political party like any other.

A commodified electoral arena

Ultimately, the Moroccan political system is a machine for crushing parties that have a political mark and social anchoring, whether they are Islamist or leftist, like the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), which led the government of alternation between 1998 and 2002. However, at the end of the reign of Hassan II, a relative political liberalization suggested the organization of an increasingly open competition, structured at the national level around competitive political agendas. Paradoxically, twenty years later, it is clientele and merchant companies, often tied to the cash economy, who are fighting for most of the electoral trophies. In other words, when it is not dominated by local issues, the electoral arena is more than ever commodified.

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