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Situation Assessment 26 April, 2012

The Political Party Experience in Morocco: Obscurity and Obfuscation

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Drisse Jandari

Drisse Jandari is a writer and research well-known for his contributions to scholarship in political and intellectual affairs. Born in Morocco in 1978, Jendary gained a PhD in the Sociology of Literature from Mohammed V University in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, after having gained a Diploma in Education from the Higher Institute for Teacher Training in Fez, Morocco. In addition to this, Jendary is an opinion columnist, and writes for a number of Moroccan and international publications, including: Wajhat Nathar, Al Massa and Al Ahdath in Morocco, Al Quds Al Arabi and Az Zaman, printed in London and the pan-Arab Al Arab. He has participated in a number of international academic colloquia on questions of pedagogy.

This study aims to pinpoint the most salient features of the political party experience in Morocco, using the modern liberal/political definitions and conceptions of the term ‘political party'. Modern political theories and practices have succeeded in eradicating older understandings of political authority as God-given or absolute. In return, political science has established a new definition of politics that views politics as the manifestation of a purely human phenomenon in which citizens select their elected representatives from a number of individuals who have been chosen by political parties to represent their political platforms and political agendas.

In light of this definition, in my analysis of the Moroccan political scene, I argue that Morocco still has far to go before this modern conception of political parties can be achieved. I argue that the presence of a political party infrastructure and ideological outlook are both insufficient for a modern political praxis to emerge. The essence of modern political practice demands that political power be tied to the will of the people. Moreover, political parties should be real political actors that are capable of creating policy based on their electoral platforms and the will of the electorate.

Unlike some others, I do not believe that there is an opposition between modern political practice and the monarchical system since there are successful examples of monarchical democracies in the world, such as Britain or Spain, which have retained monarchical traditions in rule while simultaneously and successfully creating party institutions capable of representing the popular will, through ascending to power, and being in the legislative and executive branches of government.

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