Istiqlal Party

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Not to be confused with Palestinian Independence Party.
Istiqlal Party
Leader Hamid Chabat
Founded 1944 (1944)
Headquarters Rabat, Morocco
Ideology Moroccan nationalism
Monarchism
Conservatism
Political position Centre-right
Religion Secular
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International
Seats in the Assembly of Representatives:
60 / 395
Website
www.partidelistiqlal.org
Politics of Morocco
Political parties
Elections
Istiqlal office of the Al-Fida Derb-Soltane district, Casablanca

The Istiqlal or Independence Party (Arabic: حزب الإستقلال Ḥizb Al-Istiqlāl, French: Parti de l'Istiqlal) is a political party in Morocco. It is a conservative and monarchist party and a member of the Centrist Democrat International.

Originally founded in the 1940s, Istiqlal held strongly nationalist views and was the main political force struggling for the independence of Morocco. The party was often critical of the ruling monarchy, after being instrumental in gaining independence from French colonialism. Independence was achieved in 1956, and the party then moved into opposition against the monarchy, which had asserted itself as the country's main political actor. Together with the leftist National Union of Popular Forces (UNFP), which split from Istiqlal in 1959, and later the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), the Istiqlal would form the backbone of the opposition to King Hassan II in the years to come. The Istiqlal party has taken part in many coalition governments from the late 1970s until the mid-1980s. In 1998, together with the USFP inside the Koutla and other smaller parties, the Istiqlal formed the Alternance, the first political experience in the Arab World where the opposition assumed power through the ballots.

For the party's leader Allal El Fassi, a proponent of "Greater Morocco", Morocco's independence would not be complete without the liberation of all the territories that once were part of Morocco.

In the parliamentary election held on 27 September 2002, the party won 48 out of 325 seats.

In January 2006, Istiqlal criticized Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's visit to the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the north African coast, reflecting its nationalist heritage.

Istiqlal won 52 out of 325 seats in the parliamentary election held on 7 September 2007, more than any other party,[1] and subsequently the party's leader, Abbas El Fassi, was named Prime Minister by King Mohammed VI on 19 September 2007.[1][2]

In September 2012, Hamid Chabat was elected Secretary-General of the party succeeding Abbas El Fassi.

Electoral performance[edit]

Year Number of votes Percentage of votes Seats in the
House of Representatives
Position in Parliament
1963
1,000,506
30.0
41 / 144
1970
8 / 240
1977
1,090,960
21.62
51 / 264
Opposition
1984
681,083
15.33
40 / 301
Opposition
1993
760,082
12.2
52 / 333
Opposition
1997
840,315
13.8
32 / 325
Part of the government
2002
14.77
48 / 325
Part of the government
2007
494,256
10.7
52 / 325
Leading the government under Abbas El Fassi
2011
562,720
11.9
60 / 395
Part of the government until October 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Morocco's king names new PM", Xinhua (People's Daily Online), September 20, 2007.
  2. ^ "El Fassi named Moroccan prime minister", Associated Press (Jerusalem Post), September 20, 2007.

External links[edit]