Preliminary results on Thursday from Morocco’s parliamentary elections showed that liberal RNI party has won most seats in the country’s followed by another liberal party, PAM, while co-ruling moderate PJD Islamists suffered a crushing defeat.
RNI candidate and billionaire Agriculture Minister, Aziz Akhannouch, took 97 of the 395-seat parliament, followed by PAM with 82 seats and the conservative Istiqlal with 78 seats.
The PJD, which had been a coalition partner in the previous two governments, had only taken 12 seats after a count of 96% of all parliamentary seats.
The new voting rules which were expected to make it harder for bigger parties to win as many seats as before turned out a success, as RNI had only won 37 seats at the last election in 2016, while the PJD took 125.
Turnout in the Wednesday elections improved to 50.3%, up from 43% in 2016.
It was decided that the parliamentary elections with low turnout record be held on the same day as municipal and regional elections which usually have higher participation.
As a constitutional monarchy, the king of the North African country will pick the Prime Minister from the party that won the most seats in parliament who will then form a cabinet and submit it for the King’s approval. The Palace has the final say on appointments concerning key departments.