Morocco's ruling Islamist party leads in regional elections

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 6, 2015
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Morocco's ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) took the lead in the regional elections and made significant advance in Friday's municipal elections, the Interior Ministry announced on Saturday.

According to results of the double polls, PJD won more than 25 percent of regional council seats, followed by the opposing Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) with 19.47 percent, and the Istiqlal party (PI) with 17.55 percent.

As for the local councils, PJD advanced by three places compared to the previous local elections in 2009, ending third after PAM and PI respectively.

PJD gained most of the votes in the country's major cities, while its rivals, particularly PAM and PI, dominated rural areas.

Nearly 30 parties competed for 31,503 local council seats and 678 regional council posts.

A total of 4,000 observers, including 76 belonging to international organizations, have been accredited to oversee the elections.

Analysts see the elections as a real testing ground for the governing coalition and a practice run for the 2016 parliamentary polls.

Protests in 2011 led to a new constitution and a parliamentary vote was held late that year, which brought Abdelilah Benkirane's Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) to power. Endit

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