The Justice and Development Party (PJD, moderate Islamist) is betting on winning the legislative elections for the third time since taking office in 2011 – without holding key ministries – in the context of the Arab Spring.
In the kingdom, major decisions and orientations in key sectors continue to emanate from the initiatives of King Mohammed VI.
PJD rivals (including parties that have taken part in the government coalition in recent years) hope to turn the page on the Islamists. But the competition takes place without a clear polarization.
In the absence of opinion polls during the election period in Morocco, a study on the confidence index published in February by the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis (IMAP) indicates that 64% of Moroccans polled did not the intention to participate in the elections. 98% of them are not inserted.
How to explain this growing disinterest in political action? “Morocco has not yet reached the level of established democracies in which citizens are aware that political parties are institutions which fully play their role and are capable of serving them”, analyzes an IMAP researcher Rachid Aourraz.
For his part, political science professor Ahmed Bouz believes that the debate on the relevance of the elections to gain power has still not been settled, despite the adoption of the 2011 Constitution.
The analyst does not rule out either “the feeling among the voters of the small margin of decision of the elected officials”.
Historically and for decades, the separation of powers and the role of the monarch in the political arena was at the heart of a standoff between the palace and the opposition parties, the left in particular.
In 2011, in the wake of the Arab Spring, Morocco adopted a new Constitution granting broad prerogatives to Parliament and the government, closer to the standards of the parliamentary monarchy, while devoting a central role to the king.
In fact, major decisions in strategic areas such as agriculture, energy or industry emanate from royal initiatives, regardless of changes within the executive.
This dynamic was visible in a period of pandemic with in particular the announcement by the sovereign of an economic recovery plan during the summer of 2020 of approximately 12 billion euros or of an unprecedented project to generalize medical coverage. by 2025.
If today the Islamists put before the record of the outgoing government, some local media do not hesitate to criticize them, arguing that the achievements are the result of royal initiatives.
For his part, political scientist Mohamed Tozy qualifies: “today we cannot reach decision-making positions without going through the elections, this is the most important”.
Whatever the results of the next election, all political parties are expected to adopt a charter, resulting from the “new development model”, which heralds a “new generation of reforms and projects”, as Mohammed VI recently indicated in a speech.
This model, designed by a commission appointed by the king, outlines several avenues aimed in particular at reducing the country’s deep social disparities and doubling the GDP per capita by 2035.
The formula text “strategic choices, nothing prevents political parties from reorganizing priorities”, underlines Mohamed Tozy, also member of the commission which conceived this development project.
For political scientist Mohamed Chiker, “the main directions have been drawn, the elections will therefore only serve to produce the political elites capable of implementing them”.
Proof of this is “the electoral programs of all the parties are similar”, believes political scientist Mustapha Sehimi.
Which, according to him, “exacerbates the distance between voters and institutions”. Achieve 45% participation (compared to 43% in 2016) “would be a pleasant surprise”, he adds.