The popular bases of the political arm of the Moroccan Brotherhood, the Justice and Development Party (JDP), are witnessing anger against the party’s leaders at the regional and the General Secretariat levels, against what they described as the selective selection of the party’s candidates in the upcoming regional, collective, and legislative elections.
Party members believe that the leaders have violated the values and principles that the party has long adhered to, as well as exposed the falsity of democracy within its organizational frameworks, which prompted dozens of its leaders and members to submit their resignations, at a time that seems difficult, especially since these resignations come ahead of the elections scheduled for the beginning of next September.
Mass resignations reveal the crisis depth
The Moroccan Justice and Development Party has been experiencing a political crisis for months, which has intensified due to the differences between its leaders and bases over the past two months, as candidacy has been opened to choose candidates in the parliamentary, communal and regional elections on September 8th.
Sources in the party say that the differences came as a result of the party’s general secretariat and regional leaders standing against the voters’ will, through the recommendation of undesirable personalities from local bases, and the voters did not vote for them in the nomination committees.
Idriss Fakhiri, the party’s local writer in the Safi province, opened the resignations’ door on July 11, after he submitted his resignation from the regional and local writings and from all political bodies affiliated with the JDP. He justified his resignation by expressing his regret at what he called the lack of transparency and integrity when electing parliamentary and regional agents, and the exclusion of the regional clerk, the local clerk and the head of the municipal council.
On the tenth of this month, Abdelhak El-Araby, the party’s general manager, announced that he had suspended his membership from the General Secretariat, due to the recommendation of Moh El-Radali at the head of the party’s list in Tamara city. Which is known for major organizational problems that led to the dissolution of the party local branch in the city.
It is noteworthy that El-Radali is the party’s longest-serving electoral candidate and has been on its lists since 2003. This has sparked the electoral bases’ discontent that for many years turned a blind eye to favoritism and discrimination, under the pretext of preserving the party’s unity in the face of opponents, according to the sources.
Marrakech-Safi also has witnessed the biggest wave of resignations, amounting to 45 members, collective advisors and heads of groups belonging to the regional writings of Marrakech, Safi and Essaouira, and others active in the union arm of the party “National Union of Labor in Morocco”.
Abdel Latif Boujdia, a professor of political science, expects that the coming days will witness larger mass resignations within the MB party, against the background of manipulating of the voters will in choosing their representatives in the elections, and the General Secretariat’s intervention to choose certain personalities to represent the party.
He points out that there is a large gap between leaders and members that cannot be remedied before entering the elections, especially since the leaders defend their interest and electoral position, not the party’s interest. Boujdia considers that what is happening now is a result of the organizational and political crises that the party is experiencing at various levels, and that these withdrawals reveal the crisis’ depth.
Boujdia believes that personal interests have become dominant in the candidates’ selection for local and legislative elections, to preserve positions, privileges, and multiple compensations.
Following the mass withdrawals from the JDP, before the elections scheduled for the eighth of next September, observers’ expectations of the party’s failure to maintain the electoral chances the party had during previous electoral cycles are reinforced.
“The party built its popularity during the past decade on the idea of the imaginary enemy, whether the heads of other large parties, or the Ministry of Interior and the judiciary, and succeeded in reinforcement its strength through that. But the parties and institutions understood this, and they no longer matched it in its fabricated wars, or gave it the opportunity to confront, and for this his battles with the other turned into the party, and it started eating himself,” Amir Al-Omari, a political researcher, says.
Al-Omari points out that there is a great awareness within the JDP of their weak electoral fortunes, which is noticed by changing their electoral propaganda when presenting their electoral programs, which were characterized by folkloric parties and political glamor sessions, as happened during the 2011, 2015 and 2016 elections. But this time, the program was presented with a kind of modesty. Rather, the presentation of the program, which should be carried out according to a special media ceremonial, turned into a kind of secret documents’ leakage.
Al-Omari also confirms that the party’s morale and exhaustion due to the authority’s tax, and the anger that prevails within it due to the war of recommendations, made the moment of announcing the broad outlines of the electoral program, without spirit, meaning or any bet. He expects the party’s fortunes to decline further in the coming period as a result of everyone’s awareness of the crisis that is afflicting the party.
Grievance and sympathy to preserve his popularity
Al-Omari expects that the party, as usual, will resort to spreading its grievance if they lose the parliamentary elections’ lead, by accusing the new electoral denominator of responsibility, and not the party’s failure to manage public affairs during the past ten years.
He also asserts that the decisive factor in this is the votes’ number that the JDP will obtain, not the seats’ number. If the electoral denominator will affect the seats’ number, it has no effect on the votes’ number. Therefore, if the party does not achieve a voting block of 1.6 million voters, like the 2016 elections, the electoral denominator will not be the reason, but rather the decline in the party’s popularity.
It is noteworthy that the JDP, on Friday, accused unnamed political parties and some authority’s officials of pressuring a number of its members to discourage them from running on behalf of the party in the upcoming elections.
“The central administration of the electoral campaign recorded a number of unacceptable practices that affect the elections’ credibility,” the party said in a statement.
“A number of JDP candidates in many provinces and regions were subjected to pressure from some political parties to discourage them from running on behalf of the party,” the party added.
The party also pointed out that the excessive use of money to entice candidates, and the involvement of some authority’s officials in these practices. It called on his fighters and candidates to be steadfast in the face of these pressures and financial temptations.