Morocco’s Elections: A Conversation with Adria Lawrence (S. 5, Ep. 18)

pablo3Adria Lawrence speaks about about the recent elections in Morocco on this week’s POMEPS podcast with Marc Lynch, “The outcome isn’t really surprising, though very few people expected a big surprise. The PJD [Party of Justice and Development, a moderate Islamist-oriented party]  took more seats than its rival.”

Adria Lawrence is Associate Professor of Political Science and a research fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. Her research reflects her expertise in the politics of the Middle East and North Africa.

“It was probably quite expected for the PJD to continue its prior mandate for the last five years with a majority of seats in the parliament,” Lawrence says.

“Secularists were worried about what an Islamist party would do, but the PJD hasn’t pushed for that much of an Islamist agenda.” In fact, Lawrence says, the PJD has not accomplished a lot in the last five years. They “haven’t managed to make major steps forward on their major platforms, like corruption. They’ve had some pretty serious problems to face: there’s been a drought in Morocco, there’s an unemployment crisis. They’ve had a lot of obstacles, and I think they’ve done what they could in the parliament.”

Still, voter turnout was low. “It would appear that turnout was worse in this election than in 2011— still less than half of eligible voters.”

Music for this season’s podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

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Read more from Lawrence:

Moroccans vote Friday, but neither main party will really win, Washington Post, October 6, 2016.
The mixed record of Morocco’s February 20 protest movement, Washington Post, February 20, 2016

This is not the Middle Eastern order you are looking for, Washington Post, June 9, 2015