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Morocco: 2,000 sign petition against increase in number of MPs

Image of Moroccan parliament in Rabat, Morocco [Axel Drainville/Flickr ]
Moroccan parliament in Rabat, Morocco [Axel Drainville/Flickr ]

More than 2,000 Moroccans signed an online petition opposing a proposal to increase the number of parliament members.

Eight political parties have recently submitted to the Ministry of the Interior, a proposal to increase the membership of the National List (a quota for women and youth) from 30 to 60, under the pretext of ensuring the representation of the Moroccan diaspora in parliament.

The number of Moroccans living abroad is estimated at about five million, according to the latest official statistics.

However, the proposal, which would raise the number of deputies from 395 to 425, was opposed by activists and members of civil society.

On Sunday, academics and activists launched a petition against the proposal, which is supported by parties, most notably the Socialist Union of Popular Forces which holds 20 seats in parliament, on the international petition website, Avaaz.

As of yesterday morning, the number of signatures had exceeded 2,000.

READ: Half a million job losses during second quarter of 2020 in Morocco

The petition stated that the proposal to “increase the number of the National List members will affect the parliamentary performance and has negative effects on the credibility of the political action.”

The petition added: “The proposal harms the image of the legislative institution, by allowing circumstantial political calculations to change the number of deputies, in a way that does not serve the country’s democratic path and contradicts the values of equality and equal opportunities.”

The petition called on the parties, the government, and parliament to “reject this arbitrary and provocative measure.”

Oppositionists considered that the proposal will deepen the ongoing division between the political actors in the country, which will undermine the people’s trust in the political process.

If the proposal is approved and added to the electoral law bill, it will be referred to the government for approval and then to parliament for a vote.

Legislative elections in Morocco are scheduled to take place in October 2021.

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