Electoral rigging in Morocco

Bakchich has an article explaining how the ministry of interior is rigging Morocco's electoral map to favor rural areas, where the moderate Islamist PJD has made little inroads, to contain the success polls have been predicting since last year. In a sense, this is ethnic electioneering, with the mostly Berber / tribal countryside long loyal to local strongmen who end up forming "coalitions of independents" that pledge allegiance to the king. The ultimate example of such a politician in Mahjoubi Aherdan of Oulmes in the Middle Atlas. My grandfather, a Belgian settler near Oulmes who owned a tin mine, had many memories of Aherdan's politicking during the French protectorate and after independence. People like him are the Moroccan Walid Jumblatts, political weathervanes who ally themselves with the powers that be.

More on this in Le Journal. They note that the latest rumor is that the parliamentary elections will be held in July rather than September.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.