Islamist media is reporting that the Moroccan Justice and Development Party has tripled its share of seats in local elections. According to the Middle East Monitor report:
The Justice and Development Party has tripled its share of seats in the joint elections (municipal and provincial), which took place on Friday. The Party moved from 1,600 seats in 2009 (last municipal and provincial elections) to 5,021 seats in the 4 September 2015 elections.
The party ranked the first among all parties with more than one and half million voters, ahead by half a million voters more than the second party the Authenticity and Modernity Party. Despite this, the election system does not give the party with higher number of voters the higher number of municipal seats hence the second party got more overall seats in the municipal elections .
Meanwhile ,the Justice and Development party ranked first in the number of provincial seats by wining 25.7 per cent of the seats . Next to it is the Authenticity and Modernity party which got 19.5 per cent of the seats and third was the Independence Party which got 17.6% of the seats.
Abd Al-Ilah bin Kiran, Justice and Development Party Secretary General, said in a press conference that “our results are natural. We have been working for more than 20 years. We have steadily accumulated our results. We began from a limited number of elected officers and then Moroccans learned about us and trusted us.”
Bin Kiran went on to say: “The natural thing is for us to advance.” Speaking to the press, he added: “You should put this question to the others (the opposition parties), as to why they achieved such results? Simply, because they were just “singing” against Bin Kiran instead of working.”
Morocco’s interior ministry meanwhile announced that the turnout was 52.36 per cent, which is the exact percentage recorded in the elections of 2009.
In January, the GMBDW reported that the Moroccan Prime Minister had once again denied that his Justice and Development Party “belongs” to the Muslim Brotherhood. In February 2013 Benkirane also denied that his party belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite these denials,, in December 2011 Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi was among the first of the Islamic scholars to congratulate the Justice and Development Party (JDP) on its parliamentary victory in June of that year. In March 2011, a JDP leader was one of the participants at a conference that brought together an unusual and significant number of participants from the Global Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Brotherhood, and other Islamist movements that also included Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood. It should also be noted that the above report cites the following statement:
A party leader told Anadolu Agency earlier that the Justice and Development Party had always been independent – at the organisational level – of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as well as of other Islamist movements.
‘There is no organisational relationship between the party and the Brotherhood,’ Khaled Rahmouni said.
It has been the experience of the GMBDW that in every instance in which the claim of “no organisational relationship” has been made, the group in question has indeed found to be part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. As Avi M. Spiegel, an assistant professor of political science and international relations at the University of San Diego has written:
…the PJD’s efforts to claim, as one member said to me, that they have “no relationship with the Brotherhood in Egypt” face certain complications. While not formally an offshoot of the Brotherhood (like, say Islamist parties in Jordan or Kuwait), they nonetheless exhibit what Brotherhood expert Carrie Wickham has called a “family resemblance.” This applies to their histories, organization, and even ideology.
Relevant positions of the FJP include:
- In April 2012 the Moroccan Prime minister refused to speak with the female Belgian Minister of Justice during an official meeting.
- In August 2012, the Moroccan Minister of Family reportedly expressed his opposition to modifying the Moroccan Criminal Code that allows a man guilty of rape on a minor to escape his sentence by marrying his victim.
- In June 2011, Abdelilah Benkiran stridently objected to freedom of religion and tolerance of homosexuality.