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Morocco: largest opposition party expects to take election lead

The Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in session in Rabat, Morocco on 27 Jul 2017 [Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency]
Parliamentary session in Rabat, Morocco on 27 Jul 2017 [Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency]

The Secretary-General of Morocco's largest opposition party said on Tuesday that he expects it to win the parliamentary and municipal elections being held today, Anadolu has reported. Abdellatif Wahbi of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) made his comment during a visit to the city of Asilah in the north of Morocco.

PAM currently holds 102 of the 395 seats in the House of Representatives, the first chamber of parliament. Wahbi said that the election results will show that the party is strong.

Presenting PAM's cultural platform in Asilah, he added that culture is an important aspect of any party's programme and commitments. He stressed that Asilah is a city distinguished by its cultural traits and intellectualism, which are "impenetrable walls in the face of political money which threatens democracy."

Several parties, including the lead party in the ruling coalition, the Justice and Development Party, have denounced what they referred to as violations during the electoral campaign that harm the integrity of the elections. These include financial inducements offered in an effort to sway voters' intentions. According to former Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, "Something is being cooked up regarding the 8 September elections" which is "not in the best interest of the country."

The opposition PAM and Independence Party are emerging as electoral forces in Morocco. The main parties in the democratic era have been the Justice and Development Party and the National Rally of Independents, led by Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch.

The Justice and Development Party has been leading the government since winning the parliamentary elections in 2011 and 2016.

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