“Radical” Leftists Vie for Islamist Seats and Look to Strip the Monarchy of Power

Proclaiming the Parti Socialiste Unifie (PSU) as the ‘third way’ between the front running Islamic (PJD) and Liberal (PAM) parties, Nabila Mounib has scaled the attack on her opposition with a week remaining until Moroccans go to the polls. She has called for a constitutional monarchy and genuine political reform. At present there are 30 parties competing for election.

King Mohamed VI waived his rights to absolute power in 2011, despite the country being considered one of the most liberal nations in the region. Mounib does not believe these reforms are sufficient as parliamentary powers are still limited by the monarchy. On the reforms, she said “It did not outline a clear separation of powers, it did not truly stipulate the characteristics of the parliamentary monarchy, and it did not link responsibility to accountability”. Throughout her leadership she has openly critiqued parliament and the throne. Earlier this month, one hundred Moroccan figures endorsed Mounib in an open letter published in Moroccan paper, Akhbar Al Yaoum.

The PSU is part of the Democratic Left Federation (FGD), a coalition of three “radical” leftist parties.  The monarchy has historically repressed the evolution of leftist parties in the country, halting their development since the 1980s. In defence of the PSU decision to boycott of the elections in 2011, Mounib said “there is a time for protest and a time for participation. In 2011, we decided to boycott the legislation created during the Arab Spring, things were changed but we felt that the conditions prior to organising such opposition was not united.”

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Young people turn out en masse to lobby for a role in the nation’s future

Mounib is also a professor of endocrinology and during a diplomatic trip it was rumoured that she successfully convinced Sweden to abandon plans to recognise the Polisario-led Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic by encouraging a boycott of Swedish companies operating in Morocco. Later on it was discovered that although Scandinavian countries back Western Saharan self-determination, their support has not been enacted through parliament because it is not relevant at present according to Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. The delay of Morocco’s Ikea store was an administrative issue, claims Mounib.

Despite her moves for a more democratic state, she has been branded elitist by her critiques for often speaking French, for her comments that “illiterates have no place in Parliament” and for her “luxurious” taste in fashion. The FGD reached second place in Agdal Riad, an affluent constituency in Rabat.”

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