Moroccos largest party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD), has suffered a massive electoral defeat. The preliminary election results show that the party, which received 125 stamps in the previous 2016 election, has only 12 seats left. The huge loss benefits two liberal parties in particular.
Moroccan interior minister Abdelouafi Laftit announced the preliminary results early Thursday morning. The ruling party ended well behind the two liberal rivals, the National Association of Independents (RNI) and the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) who received 97 and 82 seats respectively. The centre-right Islamic Istiqlal Party also passed the PJD with 78 seats. There are a total of 395 seats to be distributed.
According to the preliminary results, the RNI, a party that is now part of the Moroccan government, appears to be the largest. The party is led by wealthy businessman Aziz Akhannouch, who is said to have close ties to the Moroccan royalty.
Local, regional and national elections were held in Morocco on Wednesday in some 36 million inhabitants. Preliminary results show that the turnout in the election was 50.35 percent, which is more than in 2016 when 43 percent of the electoral candidates came to vote.
The PJD already took a defeat into account due to new rules which would make the seats divided differently. If the new system had been applied during the previous elections, the party would have received about 80 seats instead of 125.
In any case, the winner of the election cannot be around the palace. King Mohammed VI still has a lot of influence in the North African country. He has already announced new economic plans that are expected to be supported by all parties.