Authenticity and Modernity Party
|Authenticity and Modernity Party|
|Secretary-General||Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah|
|Founder||Fouad Ali El Himma|
|Seats in the Assembly of Representatives|
|Politics of Morocco
The Authenticity and Modernity Party (French: Parti Authenticité et Modernité, PAM; Arabic: حزب الأصالة والحداثة Hizb Al-Asaleh Wal-Hadatheh) is a Moroccan political party founded by Fouad Ali El Himma, advisor to King Mohammed VI and former interior minister, on 10 August 2008. From its foundation, it has been perceived as backed by the monarchy.
The party was preceded by the Authenticity and Modernity parliamentary bloc, formed after the 2007 parliamentary election, and the think tank "Movement of All Democrats" (Mouvement de Tous les Démocrats, MTD), both created and led by El Himma. "The Movement of All Democrats" creation communiqué was signed by a number of influential Moroccan public figures including: Aziz Akhenouch, Mustapha Bakkoury, Ahmed Akhchichine, Rachid Talbi Alami, Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah and three human rights activists who had served on Mohammed VI's Equity and Reconciliation Commission which investigated human rights abuses during Hassan II's reign.
A number of political parties merged into PAM: Al Ahd, the National Democratic Party (PND), the Alliance of Liberties, the Environment and Development Party and the Citizens Initiative for Development. The formation's main objective was to hit back at the rise of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD). It has been characterised as reform-oriented and modernist, but lacks a clear political orientation. It positioned itself between the parties of the Istiqlal Party-led coalition and the oppositional PJD. Because of uncertainties about the organisation's ideology and political strategy, the PND and al-Ahd left it again a short time after they had joined.
As a royal party aimed at maintaining the dominant role of the monarch, it can be compared to the Front for the Defence of Constitutional Institutions (FDIC) of the 1960s, the National Rally of Independents (RNI) of the 1970s and the Constitutional Union (UC) of the 1980s. Despite being its factual leader, El Himma has not taken up a formal post in the party.
Controversy and alleged palace involvement
Although Fouad Ali El Himma, the close friend of Mohammed VI, was key in the foundation of the party and that many observers—including the American ambassador in Morocco—have described the party as the palace party, a Moroccan court sentenced politician Abdellah El Kadiri to a fine of 4 million Dirhams (US$500,000) after if judged that alleging that the Palace had a role in the foundation of the party amounts to slander. Abdellah El Kadiri was the presidents of one of the political parties who were dissolved into the Authenticity and Modernity Party.
Development since 2009
In the 2009 communal elections, the party won the greatest number of seats, replacing the Istiqlal Party as the leading force. Due to defections from other parties, the PAM became a major force in parliament. In October 2009, it took over the presidency of the House of Councillors.
On the eve of the Moroccan parliamentary election, 2011 the PAM formed an alliance with 7 other political parties of very disparate political outlooks, called the "Alliance for Democracy". After the victory of the Islamist PJD, the PAM announced to go into opposition.
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