Isabelle Werenfels, Ilyas Saliba

No Rivals to the King

The Limits to Political Reform in Morocco’s “Enlightened Authoritarianism”

SWP Comment 2017/C 17, May 2017, 4 Pages

In Morocco it is still the king who defines the boundaries of political discourse and action. The palace is increasingly placing obstacles in the path of its strongest adversary, the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD). This was seen most recently in the difficult and protracted coalition negotiations following the October 2016 parliamentary elections. At the same time, pressure on civil society critics is steadily intensifying. The inherent promise of political reform in Morocco’s comparatively inclusive model is increasingly eroding and gradually substituted with the promise of economic modernisation, potentially undermining the very bases of the kingdoms domestic stability. It is thus also in Europe’s interests for Morocco to uphold the progress it has achieved through the political reforms of recent decades.

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