Morocco Elections: One Year Later

It’s been a year since the November 25 elections, which means it’s time for the obligatory reflection post. Check out my latest piece on the PJD’s cooptation and the problematic forces of power within the Moroccan regime, effectively preventing any change from taking place:

The continued failure of the PJD and deafening silence of its most critical voices captures the multifaceted nature of power within the Moroccan regime. There is a cooptation of the PJD, as the monarchy simultaneously asserts its authority while appropriating the language of reform advocated by voices of the opposition. The PJD’s reputation as a party that skillfully placed itself within the political sphere, while maintaining a relatively critical stance regarding vague notions of corruption and nepotism associated with other popular parties, made it a compatible actor in the monarchy’s strategy. The election of the PJD was more of a political win for Mohammed VI than it was for the party. It was a convenient way for Mohammed VI to sustain the narrative of a “reforming Morocco”—a narrative crucial to the preservation of the monarchy. It is also the monarchy’s assertion of power that is damaging the PJD both in its image and its ability to effectively rule. In the most explicit way possible, Mohammed VI sent a message to the PJD and its leadership by not only appointing the party’s staunchest rival as a royal adviser, but prominent figures of the previous government as well. In an embarrassing display of Mohammed VI treading over the PJD, during US Secretary Clinton’s first official visit to Morocco after the November 2011 elections, her first public meeting was not with the foreign minister, but with Taib Fassi-Fihri who is the former foreign minister turned royal adviser.

Read more on Jadaliyya.

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