Morocco's former Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane has said that he was "shocked" and "pained" by the election defeat suffered by the Justice and Development Party (PJD), Arabi21 has reported. Benkirane is a former Secretary General of the party, and he called upon his successor to resign in favour of his deputy so that a party conference can be held as soon as possible.
He cited his position as a member of the National Council of the PJD as well as his former positions when he made his call for Saadeddine Othmani to step down. A party conference, he said, is important "in order for the PJD to continue to assume its responsibility in serving the country from its new position" in opposition.
The party led the outgoing coalition government but lost more than 90 per cent of its seats in parliament, leaving it with just twelve; it won 125 in the 2016 election. The National Rally of Independents party gained nearly three times its previous number of seats, winning 97 of the 395 being contested.
The turnout in the parliamentary and municipal elections was 50.18 per cent across the country, according to the Ministry of the Interior, with 96 per cent of the votes counted.