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Democracy in Morocco will require collective effort

Morocco’s deep state is worming its way into pre-election machinations.
A woman (L) leaves a booth before casting her ballot at a polling station in the town of Tifelt, east of Rabat, Morocco September 4, 2015. Morocco's ruling Islamist party on Friday faced a major test of its dominance as polls opened for local elections for which most opposition parties have campaigned on anti-corruption platforms and against privileges for the elite. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1R65C
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Morocco’s upcoming elections are becoming ever-more critical, as signs are emerging of a regression to pre-2011 political and societal conditions.

Continuing both the regional wave of ousting Islamists and the local struggle between public will and loyalty to despotism, a deep state has developed and is using different strategies to tame the ambitions of the government-leading Justice and Development Party (PJD). In addition to supporting the establishment-made Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), the deep state’s strategies have included creating animosity between the PJD and the Interior Ministry. Yet the situation may culminate in devaluing both the 2011 protests and promises of democracy. Voter turnout could grow without serious political improvement, unless a cross-party anti-despotism bloc forms.

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