Brillante infographie réalisée par M. Chihab Semlali (@chihabsemlali) sur les résultats des législatives du 25 novembre, même si j’ai quelques réserves sur l’interprétation qui est faite des idéologies des principaux partis.
On Foreign Policy Daphne McCurdy, who participated in an international observation mission for Morocco’s November 25 elections, goes beyond the clichés surrounding the victory of the Islamist PJD party and describes fairly accurately the political reality in the country and the issues at hand following that crucial poll. Truly, the most well-informed and thoughtful article I read so far about the recent legislative elections.
Both the low turnout and the PJD’s success show that Moroccans want genuine change, and won’t be fooled by superficial attempts to win them over. But it is clear that such meaningful change will not come from the king. With endemic corruption, decreasing quality of health care and housing, and increasing levels of unemployment, Moroccans suffer from the same issues that ail the rest of the Arab world. While they probably don’t want to go down the path of revolution, unless political parties take more ownership of the political process and stand up to the king, disaffected Moroccans may find they have nowhere to go but the streets.
This post was originally published on openDemocracy.
On November 25, 2011, Moroccans will vote in theirfirst parliamentary election since a referendum approved a series of constitutional amendments. The amendments, introduced by the king, are intended to reduce the monarch’s prerogatives in favour of an elected legislative body. However, for myself and a number of Moroccan democrats, there exist many reasons why we choose to respond to the call of theFebruary 20 movement and why we will boycott the upcoming election. Continue reading
UPDATE: Mona has been released. She’s in good health and says she was beaten and sexually harassed by Egyptian police.
Egyptian-American writer and activist Mona El Tahawy was arrested in Cairo last night.
Her last tweet reads:
“RT @monaeltahawy: Beaten arrested in interior ministry.”
Mona is contagiously passionate about the revolution in Egypt and democracy in the Arab world and she’s been doing a great job explaining the Arab awakening on major western media outlets.
Mona has of course her supporters and detractors. Her opinions do not always obtain unanimity. Mona leaves no one indifferent. One thing is for sure though: her passion for freedom and democracy in the Arab world are undeniable.
Therefore we should call for the immediate release of Mona El Tahawy. Use the hashtag #FreeMona on Twitter. Spread the picture above in your social networks.
Let us not forget also to actively call for the release of all political prisoners in Egypt, notably my friend and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah and many others who are behind bars, for nothing else but their opinions.
Je voudrais m’adresser a mes compatriotes honnêtes et bien intentionnés qui veulent aller voter aux législatives vendredi et ceux qui hésitent encore à prendre la décision de sortir voter le 25. Je parle à ceux qui pensent, en leur âme et conscience, qu’en allant voter ils pourront aider au changement en apportant du sang neuf aux institutions, en espérant ainsi pousser la classe politique actuelle, majoritairement corrompue et inféodée au Makhzen, en dehors du système.
J’aimerais partager avec eux mon point de vue et leur expliquer pourquoi je suis convaincu que le boycott et le meilleur choix à faire. Avant qu’ils ne s’énervent et qu’ils ne cliquent sur la petite croix, je leur demanderais de me donner une petite chance en lisant ce qui suit.
Je suis intimement convaincu que les personnes bien intentionnées qu’elles sont espèrent voir une transition démocratique au Maroc sans faire courir au pays les risques de crises internes ou de conflits que d’autres pays de la région connaissent.
Mais dans les conditions politiques actuelles dans lesquels se retrouve le Maroc, voter consisterait à essayer de traiter un cancer à coup de tablettes de paracetamol.
Je les invite maintenant à laisser libre cours à leur imagination. Essayons ensemble de dessiner les trajectoires hypothétiques, mais réalistes de ce processus en cours. Qu’arrivera t-il si 1) le taux de participation est élevé, et si 2) à l’opposé, le taux d’abstention est plus conséquent. Continue reading
Via The Arabist Blog.
The Coalition For a Parliamentary Monarchy Now is a Moroccan group close to the youth-based pro-democracy movement February 20. It was founded back in June and has been campaigning for the immediate implementation of a parliamentary monarchy in Morocco–Not without controversy within the pro-democracy camp which is made of an eclectic and broad coalition of political activists and militants ranging from republicans in the left to monarchists in the right and comprising various breeds of Islamist and secularist militants.
The Coalition For a Parliamentary Monarchy Now thinks a parliamentary monarchy is “the only effective way to combine monarchy and democracy.” It has been critical of the reforms conducted by the king earlier this year. In a press release published today [in Arabic… English translation to follow hopefully soon] it is urging the Moroccan power “to repeal the current constitution, ensure healthy electoral competition between parties–not only between the notables, promote transparency, accountability and put en end to years of impunity.” Continue reading
Borhan Ghalioune, is a well-respected Syrian academic and opposition figure. He lives in France where he works as a professor of political science at the prestigious Sorbonne University. In this video released today, he addresses the Syrian people in his capacity as the chairman of the Syrian National Council, an opposition coalition founded earlier this year following the Syrian uprising.
I had the privilege to meet Mr. Ghalioune earlier this year at a conference in Paris when Syria was still seemingly unmoved by the pro-democracy protests that were beginning to sweep through the region. During that meeting Mr. Ghalioune was specifically asked about the situation in Syria. I remember he gave a foreboding response that in hindsight proves to be terribly accurate. He rejected the prevailing idea at the time that the Syrian people were not ready for change and predicted the kind of appalling violence that the regime was about to unleash on the protesters.
In his address today, Mr. Ghalioune is pledging to not let down the victims of the repression. “We will not negotiate on the blood of the victims and martyrs” he says, adding that “Syria in the future will be a country where the rule of law prevails, and where all are equal before an independent judiciary.”
He added that “The new Constitution will protect the rights of the minorities,” calling for “unity and the end of years of discrimination, injustice and exclusion.”
In the future Syria, he says, “there will be no talk about majority or minority, but only about citizenship and equality, regardless of tribal or ethnic or ideological or sectarian considerations.”
For several months, the Syrian opposition was looking for its soul while facing a repressive and organized regime. Today’s speech may be providing the opposition with the clarity and the consistency it needed so badly. Perhaps more importantly, it provides it with a trusted face through which it can reach out to the Syrian people in its entirety.