After Justice and Development’s Defeat, Benkirane Calls on the Moroccan Prime Minister to Resign

Abdelilah Benkirane, a member of the JDP’s General Secretariat, has blamed Saad El Din El Othmani, head of the party and the government, for the party’s loss in the parliamentary elections, asking him to resign, after the great defeat in the elections.

It is not appropriate for our party in these difficult circumstances unless the Secretary-General assumes his responsibility and submits his resignation from the party leadership, which his deputy will be obligated to bear,” Benkirane said in a statement posted on his Facebook account.

It is noteworthy that the preliminary results indicated that the JDP won only 12 seats in the elections that took place in the Kingdom, on Wednesday.

The Liberal National Rally of Independents (RNI) led the election results with 97 seats, according to provisional results announced by Abdel Wahed Laftit, the Moroccan Interior Minister at dawn Thursday.

The Authenticity and Modernity Party came second with 82 seats, the Istiqlal Party third with 78 seats, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces Party fourth with 35 seats, and the Popular Movement Party won 26 seats.

According to local media, the participation rate in the poll reached 50.35 percent, according to the Moroccan Interior Minister, knowing that for the first time in the Kingdom history on the same day, the poll included parliamentary elections (395 seats) and local and regional elections (more than 31 thousand), which contributed to Increase the participation rate.

Observers see the resounding defeat of the moderate Islamic party as a big surprise, as estimates of analysts and local media continued to nominate it to compete for the first places, in the absence of opinion polls on the attitudes of voters before the polls.

After ten years as prime minister, the Islamist Justice and Development Party suffered a heavy defeat in the parliamentary elections, in favor of the RNI Party headed by businessman Aziz Akhannouch, who is described as close to the palace, according to partial results announced on Wednesday-Thursday night.

The JDP has been achieving progressive results since its participation in the first parliamentary elections in 1997, until it reached the prime ministership following the protests of the February 20, 2011 movement calling for “the drop of corruption and tyranny,” but without controlling the main ministries.

After five years at the head of the government, the party managed to maintain its position, and won the 2016 elections by a significant difference over its closest competitor, led by Abdelilah Benkirane, its former Secretary General. The latter was famous for his prominent media presence and his continuous criticism of the state.

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