Islamists charge fraud in Morocco

Voters in Morocco deprived the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) of an expected parliamentary victory, handing it instead to the secular conservative Istiqlal party that is a member of the ruling coalition. In a surprisingly strong showing, Istiqlal won 52 of the 325 seats in the lower house of parliament. PJD, whose growing strength in recent years had worried its secular rivals, won 47 seats—far short of the 80 seats the party had hoped for. The PJD accused the ruling secular parties of buying votes and appealing to voters with hasty public works projects. “It is sickening,” the PJD’s Lahcen Daoudi told reporters. “The PJD has won, but Morocco has lost.” Final authority rests with King Mohamed VI, who will name a prime minister based on the election results. The prime minister will then name a government, likely to be an awkward coalition that would include the PJD for the first time. (AP, Sept. 8)

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