Justice and Development Party (Morocco)
|This article is outdated. (January 2012)|
|Justice and Development Party|
|Headquarters||4 Abdulwahid al-Marrakeshi Street, Rabat|
|Seats in the Assembly of Representatives|
|Politics of Morocco
The Justice and Development Party (Arabic: حزب العدالة والتنمية; Berber: ⴰⴽⴰⴱⴰⵔ ⵏ ⵜⴰⵏⴻⵣⵣⴰⵔⴼⵓⵜ ⴷ ⵜⴰⵏⴼⵍⵉⵜ, Akabar n Tanezzarfut d Taneflit - KNN; French abbreviation: PJD) is the ruling party in Morocco since 29 November 2011. The PJD advocates Islamism and Islamic democracy.
The party was founded by Abdelkrim Al Khatib, one of the founders of the Popular Movement party, from which he was expelled in the mid-1960s, under the name of MPDC (French: Mouvement populaire démocratique et constitutionnel, the "Popular Democratic and Constitutional Movement"). The party was an empty shell for many years, until various members of a clandestine association Chabiba islamia, who later formed the MUR (French: Mouvement unité et réforme, the "Unity and Reform Movement") joined the party, with the authorisation and encouragement of former interior minister Driss Basri. It later changed its name to current PJD in 1998.
The party won eight seats in the parliamentary election in 1997. In the parliamentary election, held on 27 September 2002, the party won 42 out of 325 seats, winning most of the districts where it fielded candidates. Its secretary-general since 2004 is Saadeddine Othmani, MP representing Mohammedia. In the parliamentary election held on 7 September 2007, the PJD won 43 out of 325 seats, behind the Istiqlal Party, which won 52. This was contrary to expectations that the PJD would win the most seats. However, the party had limited number of candidates in the election.
Abdelilah Benkirane was elected leader of the Justice and Development Party in July 2008, taking over from Saadeddine Othmani. Having won a plurality of seats (107 seats) in the November 2011 parliamentary election, the party formed a coalition with three parties that had been part of previous governments, and Benkirane was appointed Prime Minister of Morocco on 29 November 2011.
His new government has targeted average economic growth of 5.5 percent a year during its four-year mandate, and to reduce the jobless rate to 8 percent by the end of 2016 from 9.1 percent at the start of 2012. Benkirane's government has also actively pursued Morocco’s ties with the European Union, its chief trade partner, as well as becoming increasingly engaged with the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council.
The PJD claims to be inspired by Turkey's Justice and Development Party. According to The Washington Post, Saad Eddine el Othmani (the party's head) is a moderate Muslim. The party accepts the monarchy of Morocco.
The party's stated platform includes:
- Education reform
- Economic partnerships with other countries
- Encouraging investment
- Greater Arab and Muslim unity
- Enhancement of democracy and human rights
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- Justice and Development Party (Arabic)
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- Harakat at-Tawhid wa al-Islah (Arabic)