Moroccan party to withdraw from government coalition

Mon 13 May 2013

Moroccan party to withdraw from government coalition
On May 12, Morocco’s second largest party, the Istiqlal Party (IP), announced that it is withdrawing from the Party of Justice and Development (PJD) led government. The Istiqlal leader, Hamid Chabat, said the party could ‘no longer take part to this masquerade.’ The IP’s withdrawal from the Islamist government comes after heavy criticism on PJD’s effort to sort out social and economic problems.
Never before has a Moroccan political party resigned from a ruling coalition. Istiqlal announced that its six ministers will continue carry on with the current affairs, until King Mohammed V of Morocco returns from a private visit abroad. The king will then decide whether new elections will be held.

Economic situation

The Istiqlal party has been critical of its Islamist coalition party, claiming that the PJD has not done enough effort to tackle the economic hardship of the country. The economic crisis in Europe has had great impact on the Moroccan economy, with youth unemployment soaring to around 30%. Sectors as tourism are suffering, as European tourists, go on vacations closer to home. With agriculture making up around 15% of Moroccan GDP, the drought and the consequent poor harvest has had great impact on the economy.

Arab Spring

During the Arab Spring, the Moroccan King moved swiftly to call for earlier elections and government reforms giving elected officials greater power. After the Arab Spring the Islamist Party for Justice and Development had been elected to government, in the November 2011 elections. The PJD promised government reforms and combating corruption, but the economic crisis and infighting with its coalition partners made such reforms hard to accomplish.

Sources: Moroccoworldnews, News24, Washington Post, Fox News, Al Arabiya, ABC News,