On Morocco’s Elec­tions

The Week Middle East - - News -

“The lat­est Moroc­can elec­tions present a chance for the forces of po­lit­i­cal Is­lam to wake up while they’re search­ing for loop­holes to ex­plain their fail­ure through­out the so-called Arab Spring. Elec­toral re­sults tell us the Au­then­tic­ity and Moder­nity Party has dou­bled its seats in par­lia­ment, mean­ing the po­lit­i­cal scene is now more po­larised than be­fore the elec­tion,” says Ji­had Al-Ran­tisi. He be­lieves that the party’s pres­ence as an al­ter­na­tive to the Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Party ob­vi­ously ex­presses so­ci­ety’s con­cerns with Ab­delilah Benki­rane’s poli­cies and the threats to in­di­vid­ual free­dom and women’s rights. “The de­bates dur­ing and af­ter the cam­paigns re­vealed the hype around the the JDP. The party failed to ex­ploit global and lo­cal cir­cum­stances to boost the econ­omy, such as the plum­met­ing oil price and the fi­nan­cial aid of $5 bil­lion,” added Al-Ran­tisi. He be­lieves there is mis­trust be­tween the JDP and the other par­ties. The In­de­pen­dence Party with­drew from the govern­ment and ac­cused the Pres­i­dent of us­ing the same po­lit­i­cal lan­guage Mo­hammed Morsi used, which showed lack of ex­pe­ri­ence and ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity. “The com­mence­ment of Obama’s term in 2009 as US pres­i­dent co­in­cided with Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu’s sec­ond term as head of the Is­raeli govern­ment. How­ever, this wasn’t re­ally in the in­ter­est of Amer­ica-Is­rael ties. In fact, it might rep­re­sent the worst time pe­riod ever for the re­la­tion­ship be­tween an Amer­i­can and Is­raeli pres­i­dent, both per­son­ally and po­lit­i­cally,” said Ma­jid Kay­alli. “Sev­eral events led to strained re­la­tions. Since Obama’s pres­ence in the White House, Ne­tanyahu has been un­re­spon­sive to Obama’s calls for a par­tial and tem­po­rary hold to set­tle­ment ex­pan­sion to fa­cil­i­tate ne­go­ti­a­tions. Also, in mid 2013, the Amer­i­can ad­min­is­tra­tion pushed the Pales­tini­ans via the Arab Peace Ini­tia­tive to ne­go­ti­ate for a year. Ne­tanyahu’s on­go­ing con­di­tions and his re­fusal to re­lease the last batch of Pales­tinian pris­on­ers made the mis­sion im­pos­si­ble.” De­spite this, Kay­alli be­lieves that the Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­di­rectly and po­lit­i­cally, served Is­raeli in­ter­ests more than any other pres­i­dent’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. It al­lowed Ira­nian in­ter­ven­tion in Syria and Iraq, which helped weaken Iran’s mil­i­tary through mul­ti­ple con­flicts.

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