|General Secretary||Hamid Chabat|
|Founded||December 10, 1944|
|Headquarters||4, rue Ibn Toumert, Rabat, Morocco|
|Newspaper||Al Alam (Arab)
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International|
|European affiliation||Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (associate)|
|House of Representatives|
|House of Councillors|
|Politics of Morocco
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.
History and profile
Founded in 1944, 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.
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, and subsequently the party's leader, Abbas El Fassi, was named Prime Minister by King Mohammed VI on 19 September 2007.
In September 2012, Hamid Chabat was elected secretary-general of the party succeeding Abbas El Fassi.
|Year||Number of votes||Percentage of votes||Seats in the
House of Representatives
|Position in Parliament|
||Part of the government|
||Part of the government|
||Leading the government under Abbas El Fassi|
||Part of the government until October 2013|
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