The September 8 elections, an event not to be missed

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The  Moroccan election on 8th September is coming to a close. We shall all be called upon to fulfill our responsibility as citizens in a matter of days, if not hours, to choose the one who deserves our trust. This election isn’t like any other. It has a significant impact on our country’s and people’s lives.

Because at the end of the ballot box and after having counted the votes, we will know the identity of those who will be elected either to sit in parliament or to have a seat on the regional council and the municipal council. What is more, we will know the name of the next candidate for government leadership and the profile of the new majority. An unprecedented fact, it is for the first time, the electoral calendar helping, that we are organizing three different consultations on the same day. For the first time also, the vote takes place outside of Friday. We will of course have all the latitude to assess these changes to find out what they have brought good for our country and to raise their limits in order to rectify the situation in the future.

But what most marked these elections, besides the adoption of a new electoral quotient, is the fact that they took place in an extremely difficult context, that of covid-19 with all the constraints and restrictions due. compliance with preventive measures decreed by the authorities. It took the political parties in the running to adapt to it. At this level, we can say that these parties were able to take up the challenge by making the most of the digital skills and the experience acquired in remote work. Thus, in urban areas, we have seen a massive recourse to the use of social networks to publicize the candidates and the programs of the various political parties. The only thing missing will be the use of electronic voting to be in harmony with these qualitative changes. If the conditions are not yet met to take this step, it is not excluded, at the rate with which the company is digitized, to make this leap during the next elections.

Everyone is waiting for the final results of these consultations, especially at the legislative level. In the absence of reliable polls, everyone has their own predictions, giving free rein to their imagination and preferences. From our point of view, we believe that these consultations will be played out on the basis of two variables which are currently unknown: the participation rate and the sanction vote. Regarding the participation rate, there are elements which plead for a high rate and elements which plead for the contrary. If we manage to match or even exceed the rate of 2015 (local elections) and 2016 (legislative), that would be a feat for the country and a boost for the parties belonging to the democratic left movement. Because it should be remembered, it is the left-wing parties that suffered the most from the abstention. The generally rich right-wing parties, benefiting from massive support from the money circles, are counting on the market by recruiting intermediaries specializing in “buying votes”. Such “parties” don’t even need activists: just a sign and the money does the rest. It is commonplace in recent legislatures. And it seems today, according to the information circulating on this subject, that this electoral market has reached unprecedented proportions. It is up to whoever bets the most to win the bet. For organizations belonging to the Islamist movement, they also have their own means of seduction: charity and other “numbing” techniques of social consciousness.

As for the sanction vote, given the confusion of the political landscape and the motivation for the vote, it is generally limited. It can only come from voters belonging to the middle class and enlightened people in society. However, it is these circles that have so far fueled the ranks of abstainers. With two million new voters registered on the electoral rolls, mostly young people, can we expect a surge that would create surprise and upset the existing partisan order?

This is where the big stake of these elections lies. All voters must realize that everyone’s voice counts and that abstention only serves the enemies of democracy and those who feed on the blood and sweat of the people. It should be remembered that the right to vote only became a democratic achievement after long and bitter struggles which sometimes led to bloodshed. And it is very unfortunate not to use it as it should. Boycotting the elections, on the pretext that the games are loaded, that the elected officials have no real power, or that all the parties are domesticated and are no longer useful … is not a well-founded and sustainable position.

Instead, it is by voting and speaking out on a large scale that the public will triumph, that we will be able to battle all of the abuses that have been detected here and there, that we will be able to block the route to vote purchasers and illusion merchants. There is no such thing as a perfect democracy. It’s a never-ending battle and a process with ups and downs, victories and defeats. It is necessary to maintain a high level of awareness and vigilance. This is the cost of change. By following the only democratic road, no matter how tortuous it is. This is unavoidably accomplished at the ballot box. This is a History appointment you don’t want to miss!


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