Al Istiqlal: Recent Reforms Constitute a ‘Social Revolution’ in Morocco


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Rabat – The secretary-general of Morocco’s opposition party Al Istiqlal (Independence), Nizar Baraka, believes that the new electoral reforms will improve democracy in Morocco.

Baraka, speaking at Istiqlal’s central committee meeting on April 3, proposed establishing a “new social contract” which would include all Morocco’s political factions, according to Asharq Al-Awsat, an international Arabic newspaper.

The secretary-general expressed his optimism for the new electoral reforms, particularly within the context of enhancing democracy in the country as well as bringing competition to Moroccan politics.

The opposition party is looking into launching political reform workshops, which will help further localize the democratic process, protect the rights of Moroccan citizens, and will eventually grow the public’s confidence in political activity.

Baraka noted that the upcoming elections must be conducted in a way that would allow Moroccans to carry out an honest evaluation of the government’s performance.

Read also: Al Istiqlal Vetoes Possible Chabat Candidacy in Morocco’s 2021 Elections

For his part, the current secretary-general of the party has been an active proponent for electoral reforms in Morocco. Following Baraka’s election to the position in 2017, he told the press that his meeting with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI gives “a real momentum to our [Istiqlal party’s] role as an active actor in the rehabilitation of the politics of Morocco.”

It is within this context, that Al Istiqlal’s central committee calls for a “new social contract” that would lead economic, environmental, cultural, and social rights in Morocco to new heights. The opposition party also believes that the royal decree for improved social coverage constitutes a “real social revolution” in Morocco.

In 2016 the opposition party was mired in controversy when the former secretary-general Hamid Chabat stirred  backlash after claiming that Morocco’s borders extend from “Ceuta in the north to the Senegal river in the south.”

Amid concerns as to whether Chabat will submit his candidacy for a provincial position in the city of Fez during the upcoming elections, the Al Istiqlal Party Executive Committee decided to shun any such attempts. Baraka, with a unanimous vote from the committee, put in place a “veto” to prevent Chabat’s potential candidacy in the election.