MAP - Thursday, July 23rd 2020

Opposition Calls for Reviewing Organic Law on Political Parties

Rabat - The parties of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), Istiqlal (PI) and Progress and Socialism (PPS) have called for the review of the law on political parties, in order to respond to the spirit of the democratic choice brought about by the Constitution, to ensure the autonomy of parties and to strengthen their constitutional and political functions as regards providing guidance to citizens. In a memorandum on political and electoral reforms presented at a press conference on Wednesday, these opposition parties insisted on the imperative to conclude a new political contract and to capitalize on the high level of patriotism generated by the coronavirus pandemic, in order to carry out political and institutional reforms, strengthen the constitutional roles of parties and operate a break with some practices that undermine the political and democratic process.

They also called for "a reshaping of the relationship of public media with political parties, supporting political pluralism, openness to various currents of opinion and expression, strengthening the presence of political media in news programs and magazines, changing the stereotypical approach to dealing with partisan and political matter and supporting the current political, social and economic field and its various interactions".

Regarding the body in charge of elections, the three parties proposed to create a national electoral commission governed by law as the body responsible for the coordination, monitoring and support of the electoral process, with a mixed character and composed of provincial committees. Concerning the polling day, the memorandum proposes the determination of the polling date within the framework of the national electoral commission after consultation and dialogue with political parties and the convening of municipal, regional and legislative elections at the same time, in order to increase the turnout and rationalize financial and human resources, while calling for holding elections on Wednesday instead of Friday.

The document recommends maintaining the "uninominal/list" voting method for municipal elections. The latter is to be applied in municipalities where the number of inhabitants exceeds 50,000, while those where the number does not reach this threshold can also opt for the list system, provided that the headquarters of the prefecture there is located there, the three parties underline in the document, while proposing to adopt the uninominal ballot in the rest of the electoral constituencies. They also proposed to strengthen the participation of women and young people by adopting regional lists dedicated to women and young people to replace the national list, while increasing the number of seats that were dedicated to national lists, with a view to achieving parity while taking into account the representativeness of executives and skills, as well as Moroccans living abroad. Regarding the electoral lists, the opposition parties called for the encouragement of the participation of young people, through automatic registration from the age of 18, as well as the organization of campaigns to deposit applications for registration or modification of registration throughout the year through Internet, in addition to the automatic delisting of deceased persons. They also proposed a unified electoral and financial threshold of 3%, regardless of the size and nature of the electoral district concerned. The PAM proposes, for its part, the total abolition of the electoral threshold.