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Islamists Win Parliamentary Victory In Morocco

Which paper do you read?

From the (formerly biased) BBC NEWS:

Moroccan Islamists see poll gains

Opposition Islamists in Morocco claim they are on course to emerge as the largest party from the parliamentary polls, based on initial results.

The Party of Justice and Development (PJD) alleged its weaker-than-expected gains so far were down to the ruling secular elite buying votes.

PJD leader Saadeddine Othmani insisted: “We will still be the biggest party.”

The PJD has sought to convince outsiders they are not extremists who would make Morocco an Islamic state.

Its leaders said that based on partial results from Friday’s vote, they would win between 52 and 55 seats, up from 42 seats in the outgoing parliament.

However, they had been hoping to double their seats in the 325-seat parliament.

The official result is expected to be known on Sunday…

The BBC’s Richard Hamilton in the capital, Rabat, says it was no mean feat that the polls were spared disruption from extremists.

Morocco has escaped the kind of unrest that plagues neighbouring Algeria, where a car bomb on Saturday killed nearly 30 people.

Many Moroccans feel the government has not done enough to eradicate widespread poverty, unemployment and corruption, our correspondent says…

Just days ago, the US granted nearly $700m (£350m) in economic aid to Morocco.

The US is keen to encourage moderates to counter the threat posed by more extreme movements in North Africa, say political observers.

And yet the BBC’s doppleganger Al Jazeera reports:

Setback for Morocco Islamic party 

Morocco’s main opposition Islamic Justice and Development party (PJD) has reported weaker than expected results in parliamentary elections marked by a low turnout.

The party, which hopes to become the largest single party in parliament, accused its rivals of corruption on Saturday, as it waited for results to be announced.

“We will have a maximum of 56 seats [in the 325-seat chamber] because money was changing hands all over the place,” Lahcen Daoudi, the party’s number-two, said after re-election in Fes.

“But we still think we will be the biggest party, and if we are not, it really will be the wrong way round.” …

The party is particularly popular among the poor in many of the country’s marginalised communities…

Some fear the PJD wants Islamic rule, but the party calls al-Qaeda an “enemy”, and some in the establishment see the PJD’s moderation as taking a stand against violent Islamist groups…

Of course any way you slice this is still good news for the ever-growing Caliphate.

All pretense to the contrary notwithstanding.

(And speaking of pretense, why did the BBC forgo it’s usual “quotes” around “Islamists”?)

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, September 8th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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