Former Moroccan PM Abdelilah Benkirane elected as PJD Secretary-General

Former Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane was elected as the Secretary-General of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), following Saadeddine Othmani's resignation after the PJD's defeat in the elections on September 8.

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The Justice and Development Party (PJD) extraordinary congress convened to determine the person who will take the seat of Secretary-General, which was vacated when Saadeddine Othmani resigned after the party’s defeat in the elections on September 8.

Benkirane, who received the votes of 1012 members of the general assembly of the party, whose number is 1252, won the vote and was elected as Secretary-General.

Abdelaziz El Omari, who received 121 votes in the election, finished second, and Abdellah Bouanou, who received 15 votes, finished the race in third place.

On October 23, the PJD National Council accepted the proposal of the former administration, which resigned due to the huge loss of votes in the election, “to hold an extraordinary congress for the election of a new administration for a year.”

Benkirane, in a written statement on his Facebook account, announced that he would not be a candidate for secretary-general if the proposal was accepted at the PJD extraordinary congress on October 30.

Some circles in the country think that Benkirane, who has a charismatic personality, effective rhetoric, and an important place in society, can restore the party’s former power.

The National Rally of Independents (RNI), which had 102 deputies in the general elections held on September 8 in Morocco, finished first. The Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) was second with 86 deputies, while the Istiqlal Party was third with 81 seats. The PJD, on the other hand, lost more than 90 percent of the 125 seats it won in the 2016 elections, slipping to eighth place with 13 seats.

The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, has appointed the new government headed by Aziz Akhannouch, the leader of RNI on October 8. The government consists of RNI, PAM, and Istiqlal parties members and independent technocrat ministers.

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