|On September 8th, 2021, nearly half of registered Moroccan citizens cast their ballots to renew the composition of the Kingdom’s House of Representatives. Although an electoral decline of the Justice and Development Party was highly anticipated given the unpopularity of several measures it undertook, the election’s results diverged from forecasts. The vote dealt a severe blow to the party, which lost almost 90% of its previously held parliamentary seats, relegating the Islamist front to the margins of the political opposition. In its place, the National Rally of Independents (NRI) emerged as the uncontested winner of this election, granting its leader, Aziz Akhannouch, King Mohammed VI’s mandate to form the new government. The newly formed Cabinet will face several domestic challenges, starting with the multifaceted consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic while continuing the vaccination campaign positively set up by the previous administration. On the regional level, the new government will face the consequences of worsening relations with Algeria. Notoriously tense, these bilateral relations deteriorated after the Israel-Morocco normalization agreement and the US’ recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. In addition, Rabat has to find feasible solutions to mitigate tensions that risk jeopardizing its relations with some of its key European partners, such as Spain and Germany.
Experts from the ISPI MED network react to the results of the parliamentary elections in Morocco.