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The most popular Islamist in Morocco, defeated by his party

The National Council of the Justice and Development Party votes against a third term of Abdelilá Benkirán, the former prime minister, in front of the training

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The most popular Islamist in Morocco, defeated by his party

Abdelilá Benkirán, most popular Islamist in Morocco, suffered this Sunday his greatest political defeat. Last March was ousted by King Mohamed VI as head of elected government winner of October legislatures. Benkirán had to give up his deputy act, but re was a powerful crutch to support: General Secretariat of Justice and Development Party (PJD). The problem was that Benkirán had already been secretary for two mandates, which allowed statutes of training. If I wanted to aspire to a third party, we had to reform bylaws of game. However, National Council of PJD, meeting on Sunday night, spoke out against that reform. And he did it with 126 votes against, 101 in favor and four null, from a total of 231. Now, so-called "brors" of PJD are more divided than ever.

Everyone wonders what Benkirán will do. Stay in PJD or create your own political group? No one in Morocco was able to gar 20,000 people at a rally, as he did. No parliamentarian so fluently dominates oratory, none of m can mix jokes and most popular expressions of Arabic dialectal in midst of any televised session. But his party has valued all those factors and said no.

The most charismatic man in PJD has found frontal opposition of four of five ministers who have been trained in a government composed of six parties. In addition, Benkirán also had against ideological branch of PJD, Oneness Movement and Reformation (MUR). His supporters believe that, in fact, pulse was not internal, but between Benkirán and royal palace.

Benkirán led PJD into legislative 2011 to achieve a historic victory. For first time, Islamists ruled in Morocco. It is true that it was a fairly limited governance, because electoral legislation in this country makes it impossible for a non-coalition government. In addition, royal Palace usually placed in front of key ministries such as Interior, exterior and religious affairs to politicians who respond directly to king and his royal counselors. But still, it was first time that an Islamist formation monopolized so much power in Morocco.

With passing of months it was verified that re was never personal harmony between Benkirán and king. During last election campaign, in summer of 2016, Benkirán denounced existence of "Tahakoum", a concept from Moroccan Arabic designating an "authoritarian" parallel government. Actually, Benkirán pointed to royal palace without naming it. Mohamed VI warned in a speech that no one should instrumentalize monarchical institution for electoral purposes. And he remembered that he is king of all Moroccans, including those who do not vote.

After se rubbings with monarch, Benkirán surpassed in legislative ones of 2016 results of 2011. It obtained 125 seats of 395 with which Moroccan Parliament counts, 18 seats more than in previous ones. The five years in power did not make him a dent. Benkirán failed, nor perhaps tried openly, to combat endemic corruption of country. But many of his constituents interpreted that if he did not do so, because a power that did not come from ballot box prevented him from facing that task.

Despite his victory in 2016, Benkirán still needed to form alliance with or parties to govern. He refused to accept conditions proposed to him by or parties. After almost half a year of unsuccessful negotiations, half a year in which Government was not finished, king made use of attributes granted by Constitution and dismissed head of government. Instead, he named second man of PJD, Saadedín el Otmani, a training psychiatrist, with little charisma but with a negotiating spirit. The Otmani accepted everything Benkirán refused to accept. In ory, Otmani is now without anyone who makes him shadow in his party. But shadow of Benkirán can be very uncomfortable, even as a mere militant of PJD.


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