Moroccan general election, 2002

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Moroccan parliamentary election, 2002
← 1997 27 September 2002 2007 →

All 325 seats to the Assembly of Representatives of Morocco
163 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  No image.svg Abbas El fassi 08.jpg No image.svg
Leader Abderrahmane Youssoufi Abbas El Fassi Abdelkrim al-Khatib
Party USFP Istiqlal PJD
Last election 57 32 -
Seats won 50 48 42
Seat change Decrease7 Increase16 Increase42
Percentage 15.38% 14.77% 12.92%
Swing Increase1.48% Increase0.97% Increase12.92%

Prime Minister before election

Abderrahmane Youssoufi

Elected Prime Minister

Driss Jettou

Coat of arms of Morocco.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The 2002 Moroccan parliamentary election was held in Morocco on 27 September 2002. The election was the first since King Mohammed VI of Morocco had come to the throne in 1999 and international observers saw it as a test of his commitment to democracy.[1] The election saw an Islamist party the Justice and Development Party make strong gains but the outgoing government kept a majority in the Assembly of Representatives.


The election took place under a revised voting system in which 325 deputies were elected from 91 constituencies.[1] The new rules guaranteed women would be at least 10% of the Assembly of Representatives by reserving 30 seats for them.[2] In total 5,865 candidates from 26 political parties and 5 lists of independents stood in the election including 965 female candidates.[2][3] With many voters illiterate, each party had different symbols such as a car, alarm clock, horse, wasp or lamp which were printed on the ballot paper for voters to select.[4]

Even the Prime Minister, Abderrahmane Youssoufi, agreed that previous elections in Morocco had been rigged but the new King Mohammed VI had pledged that this election should be kept free. Indeed, observers at polling stations reported that the election was much cleaner than previous elections.[4] The campaign itself was low key with a low turnout expected. Issues raised in the campaign included rising prices, a salary freeze, economic stability and improvements in education and public health.[3] Poverty and unemployment, combined with the powers which the King had reserved to himself meant many people saw little reason to vote.[1][2]

The only Islamist party to stand in the election, the Justice and Development Party, did not stand in all of the seats to ensure it would not provoke violence such as had occurred in neighbouring Algeria after the 1991 election.[4] They supported the introduction of Islamic law but pledged to work within the existing political system.[5] The banned Islamist group Al Adl Wa Al Ihssane was seen as being the popular group in the country but called on supporters to boycott the election as they said it would achieve nothing.[4]


The results saw the Justice and Development Party make strong gains and over doubled its vote share to become the third largest party in parliament.[6] However the parties that made up the previous coalition kept a strong majority in the legislature with the Socialist Union of Popular Forces remaining the largest party.[6] Women won 35 seats in the legislature,[3] a big increase from the two who had been elected in the 1997 election.[7]

Following the election King Mohammed VI appointed the Interior Minister Driss Jettou as Prime Minister[8] and a new government was formed with roughly the same political parties supporting the coalition as before the election.[9]

Party Votes % Seats +/-
Socialist Union of People's Forces (Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires) 15.38 50 -7
Independence Party (Hizb al-Istiqlal/Parti d'Independence) 14.77 48 +16
Justice and Development Party (Parti de la Justice et du Développement) 12.92 42 +33
National Rally of Independents (Rassemblement National des Indépendents) 12.62 41 -5
People's Movement (Mouvement Populaire) 8.31 27 -13
National Popular Movement (Mouvement Nationale Populaire) 5.54 18 -1
Constitutional Union (Union Constitutionelle) 4.92 16 -34
National Democratic Party (Parti National-Démocrate) 3.69 12 +2
Front of Democratic Forces (Front des Forces Démocratiques) 3.69 12 +3
Party of Progress and Socialism (Parti du Progrès et du Socialisme) 3.38 11 +2
Democratic Union (Union Démocratique) 3.08 10 +10
Democratic and Social Movement (Mouvement Démocratique et Social) 2.15 7 -25
Democratic Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste Démocratique) 1.85 6 +1
Covenant Party (Parti Al Ahd) 5
Alliance of Liberties (Alliance des Libertés) 4
Reform and Development Party (Parti de la Réforme et du Développement) 3
Party of the Unified Socialist Left (Parti de la Gauche Socialiste Unifiée) 3
Liberal Moroccan Party (Parti Marocain Libéral) 3
Citizens' Forces (Forces Citoyennes) 2
Environment and Development Party (Parti de l'Environnement et du Développement) 2
Democratic Independence Party (Parti Démocratique et de l'Indépendance) 0.62 2 +1
National Congress Party (Parti du Congrès National Ittihadi) 1
Total (Turnout 51.61 %) 5,936,370 100 325 -
Sources: Inter-Parliamentary Union, ElectionGuide


  1. ^ a b c "Moroccan poll will test commitment to democracy". Financial Times. 2002-09-27. p. 13. 
  2. ^ a b c Leicester, John (2002-09-28). "Moroccans to elect 30 female MPs". The Scotsman. p. 13. 
  3. ^ a b c "MOROCCO: parliamentary elections Majliss-annouwab, 2002". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  4. ^ a b c d Tremlett, Giles (2002-09-28). "In brief: Islamists hold key to Moroccan elections: King relaxes reins to allow first step towards real democracy". The Guardian. p. 15. 
  5. ^ Leicester, John (2002-09-29). "Moroccan fundamentalist party in election gains". Scotland on Sunday. p. 24. 
  6. ^ a b Wilkinson, Isambard (2002-09-30). "Islamic upsurge in Morocco poll". The Daily Telegraph. p. 41. 
  7. ^ "MOROCCO: parliamentary elections Majlis Nawab, 1997". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  8. ^ "Moroccan king names new Cabinet, no rep from Islamic party". Toronto Star. 2002-11-08. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  9. ^ "Morocco unveils new coalition". BBC Online. 2002-11-08. Retrieved 2009-05-14.