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Who will compete in Morocco's upcoming election?

The flag of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) is waved during the party meeting ahead of the municipal and regional elections in Tangier, Morocco on September 2, 2015 (FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

In a few weeks Morocco will hold legislative elections to decide who will lead the government for the next five years, amid expectations of a fierce competition between the country's political parties. The Justice and Development Party (PJD), which heads the government coalition, is expected to win a third term.

Morocco's political parties will compete for the votes of more than 15,746,000 registered voters, as no party intends to boycott the elections scheduled for 8 September, which will be held in light of the repercussions of the coronavirus outbreak.

For the first time in the history of Morocco, the PJD heads the government coalition for a second term, after winning the 2011 and 2016 elections.

The PJD, which won 125 out of 395 seats in the country's last parliamentary elections, chose the slogan "Credibility, Democracy, Development" for its current election campaign, while claiming that its platform "aims to endorse the governance system and pursue related structural reforms."

The PJD's Secretary-General, Saadeddine Othmani, who is also the head of government, has stated in press statements that "the party has managed to accumulate significant successes in political participation …. as it has restored confidence, integrity and trust in political work."

In turn, the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), which is the largest right-wing opposition party, is preparing to compete in elections and aspires to lead.

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PAM's Secretary-General, Abdellatif Wehbe, announced that his party has great chances of winning while stressing "the possibility of achieving this ambition through hard work and effective communication with the Moroccan people."

PAM came in second place in the 2016 legislative elections, after securing 102 seats in parliament.

In the run-up to the elections, the left-wing Independence Party has been experiencing unprecedented dynamism within the party ranks, following the resignation of former secretary general, Hamid Chabat.

Some have linked Chabat's resignation to internal quarrels, after its current Secretary-General, Nizar Baraka, refused to recommend his predecessor to run for local elections in the district of Fez.

The party, which joined the opposition in the middle of the mandate of the previous government (2011-2016), aspires to win a large number of votes.

In previous media statements, Baraka said that Morocco needs a government that enjoys credibility and popular support thanks to the strong involvement of citizens in the upcoming elections, while calling on Moroccans to come out and vote.

The centre-right National Rally of Independents (RNI), which is part of the government coalition, has revealed its willingness to participate in the legislative elections.

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The RNI's, which was founded 42 years ago, seeks to lead the next government with the support of businessmen. It is described as being "close to the king's palace."

"The National Rally of Independents has presented ministers who have achieved excellent results in all productive sectors," party leader Aziz Akhannouch said at a party event.

Akhannouch added that his party focuses on projects that would enable the agricultural, commercial, industrial, tourism and fisheries industries to achieve unprecedented prosperity.

The RNI came fourth in the 2016 legislative elections, winning 37 seats.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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