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From Opposition to Puppet: Morocco’s Party of Justice and Development. A protest repressed, a journalist beaten, an artist detained, a newspaper censored, and an activist tortured.

From Opposition to Puppet: Morocco’s Party of Justice and Development

Sixteen months after what was hailed as a “landmark” constitutional referendum, and exactly one year after a new government was elected, like a broken record, headlines from Morocco continue to repeat themselves.

Morocco - reading

Morocco's second spring. There are cautionary tales in the Arab uprisings, as Syria has shown: not every revolution can be as successful as Tunisia's, not every aftermath is rosy.

Morocco's second spring

And then there are also questions raised about those places where revolution did not take place. Was it averted because there is wise and popular government, or has some kind of social shock merely been postponed? Last year Morocco seemed for a while to be following the path of its eastern neighbours. Protests were proliferating, with public participation unseen since the 1970s. King Mohammed VI, whose legitimacy was never targeted by the protests – even if that of his regime was – deftly retook the initiative by proposing, and hurriedly passing, a new constitution. Many Moroccans were divided on this issue. Some recent events suggest that Moroccans will not be infinite in their patience as they await concrete signs that the reformist path has paid off. Morocco, the Gulf and the media. An interesting item at Angry Arab — Aljazeera and Morocco: "Yassine sent met this: "So al-Jazeera decided not to air the documentary on Morocco and the 20th of February Movement (nuqta sakhina), which they had been promoting for more than a week.

Morocco, the Gulf and the media

Why not? Again? A Year After: The February 20 Protest Movement in Morocco. On the one-year anniversary of the February 20 protest movement in Morocco, (henceforth referred to as Feb. 20), the kingdom boasts relatively meager political progress.

A Year After: The February 20 Protest Movement in Morocco

Despite the much-vaunted reforms and constitutional changes, Morocco has reinvigorated its state edifice, managed to outmaneuver an inexperienced Feb. 20 protest movement, and engaged in a crackdown on freedom of the press and speech. In the last couple of weeks, the regime has arrested three Moroccans for crimes against his majesty’s person and “defaming Morocco’s sacred values.” King Hassan of Morocco and the Queen.

Morocco - curators...

Creating Space for Independent Political Action in Morocco. Less than a block from the seventeenth-century walls that surround Rabat’s medina (old city) is the Association Tamaynut.

Creating Space for Independent Political Action in Morocco

Inside the three-room office one can attend meetings, listen to lectures and participate in passionate discussions. A young man, Ibrahim, is there every weekday from morning until night. One of Morocco’s many thousand unemployed college graduates, he spends his free time doing volunteer work that he finds gratifying. Having a Conversation on Other Terms: Gender and the Politics of Representation in the New Moroccan Government. The recent parliamentary elections in Morocco have led to the creation of the first ever elected Islamist government in Morocco’s history.

Having a Conversation on Other Terms: Gender and the Politics of Representation in the New Moroccan Government

After winning more than forty percent of the votes in the November 25th elections, the Party of Justice and Development (PJD) led by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane formed a coalition government with the socialist Parti du Progrès et du Socialisme (PPS), the nationalist Istiqlal party and the royalist Mouvement Populaire (MP). Benkirane’s first task as Prime Minister was to form the government by appointing ministers. After much speculation and many rumors in the press and social media, Benkirane finally introduced his cabinet on January 3, 2012 at the royal palace in Rabat where he was summoned by King Mohammed VI. The newly formed government is surprising in some respects but predictable in others. Morocco's coming elections pose a litmus test.

After Tunisia's historic election, it is now Morocco's turn to gear up for early polls and try to replicate that dramatic achievement in democracy.

Morocco's coming elections pose a litmus test

Such a feat will naturally be hard to pull off in Morocco where the population is not as motivated to vote as it was in Tunisia. Pluralities are still skeptical that the election will bring change they can believe in. Political parties have so far failed to inspire hope for real political change. Morocco's Next Government: New Actors, Same Script. Several weeks have passed since Morocco’s most recent parliamentary elections.

Morocco's Next Government: New Actors, Same Script

These yielded a victory for the Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD), whose leader, Abdelilah Benkirane, has been appointed as prime minister (or, as the recent constitution dictates, “Chief of Government”). Benkirane’s first task is to form a new government in conjunction with the Istiqlal Party, the Popular Movement, and the Party of Progress and Socialism, who together comprise a ruling coalition. Once this coalition drafts a list of potential ministers, it will be approved by King Mohammad VI, and then made public. However, the formation of the new Moroccan government will not be entirely determined by Benkirane. Just days after Mohammad VI officially met with him, state-media outlets were abuzz with press releases announcing the King’s selection of newly appointed royal advisers. Ibn Kafka's obiter dicta – divagations d'un juriste marocain en liberté surveillée.