The Arab protests spread to Morocco in 2011 through the February 20 Movement, a protest movement that was expected to escalate before the king made a pre-emptive maneuver later that year to amend the constitution and hold early elections. Despite the fact that the Justice and Development Party (PJD) did not support the protests, it was the prime beneficiary of the February 20 Movement. The PJD won the elections with unprecedented results, which led to it heading the coalition government in exceptional political and constitutional circumstances, under the slogan "reform within continuity". While it remains premature to judge the success or failure of this experiment, a preliminary assessment of the new cabinet's achievements indicates that the party has not yet pushed for the deep institutional reforms needed to enact change in governance. It seems that the logic of continuity has overpowered the logic of reform, or at least restricted it to a bare minimum. This analysis argues that despite its limited achievements, the PJD-led government may still keep its hold on power; however, if things remain as they stand, the Islamist-leaning party is likely to lose much of its political and popular credit, as previously witnessed by other parties in Morocco.
*This study was originally published in the second Edition of Siyasat Arabia (May-June 2013, pp. 73-82). Siyasat Arabia, published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, is a bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal that specializes in political science, international relations, and public policy.
It was translated by the ACRPS Translation and English Editing Department. The original Arabic version can be found here.
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