Parties seen as close to Morocco’s king have dealt a crushing blow to the long-ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) in parliamentary elections, preliminary results announced on Thursday showed.
The PJD, which had headed the governing coalition for a decade, saw its support collapse from 125 seats in the outgoing assembly to just 12, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit told a press briefing after Wednesday’s vote.
The PJD was far behind its main rivals, the National Rally of Independents (RNI) and the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), with 97 and 82 seats respectively, and the centre-right Istiqlal party with 78 in the 395-seat assembly
The RNI, which was a junior member of the governing coalition, is headed by billionaire businessman Aziz Akhannouch, described as close to the palace.
Akhannouch on Thursday hailed “the popular will for change”, calling the results “a victory for democracy”.