The Political Economy of Morocco

By I. William Zartman | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

The evolution of the parties' positions shows the limits to the democratization of the regime and to the present experiments, despite the fact that participation takes place within the context of national unanimity created by the Saharan issue. Participation in the 1980s marks a break with past party positions, as they struggle over the issues of power, the clash between reformism and revolution, and between power-sharing and the conquest of power. In the beginning, the debate over the nature of the regime and the definition of democratic legality was conditioned by the participation of the nationalist movement in government, but the dismissal of the nationalist parties in the early 1960s moved the debate on to a new dimension; the struggle for power became a debate over degrees. By the late 1970s and 1980s, the debate has been further reduced, bearing only on the fairness of elections, and contestation is expressed through participation.

Yet all this has happened within the context of national unanimity, dominated by the growing authority of the king and the divisions of the parties as they slip deeper into reformism. The unanimity is built on the question of territorial integrity, an element exterior to the normal political interplay. Consequently it is not reflected at all levels, or even entirely at the government level. If Parliament incarnates that unanimity, it does so only partially, on the Saharan question, while on other questions differences persist on economic and social matters, and hence on matters of participation and power. At the same time, the growing royal power, including the king's liberal interpretation of the constitution, places the constitution under the monarchy and reduces further the political space left to the parties. Reform by the legal paths is compromised and the legitimacy of the central authority is reinforced.


NOTES
1.
"The king, prince of the Believers, supreme representative of the nation, symbol of its unity, guarantor of the permanence and the continuity of the state, watches over the respect of Islam and of the constitution. He is protector of the rights and freedoms of the citizens, social groups and collectivities. He guarantees the national independence and territorial integrity of the kingdom in its authentic boundaries" (Article 19).
2.
For reactions of the Istiqlal on the theme of liberty, see al-Istiqlal 84, December 14, 1957, December 7, 1957.
3
See also the press conference of Mohammed Benhima, interior minister, following the 1977 elections (Le Matin du Sahara, June 5, 1977. Aherdane of the Popular Movement continues to use the same language, saying that the MP's purpose is to counteract partisan dictatorship (al-Haraka 205:1, February 14, 1980, 241:7, April 25, 1983, in Arabic).

-82-

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The Political Economy of Morocco
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Abbreviations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - King Hassan's New Morocco 1
  • Notes 33
  • 2 - Makhzen Traditions and Administrative Channels 34
  • Notes 56
  • 3 - Political Parties and Power-Sharing 59
  • Notes 82
  • 4 - Religion in Polity and Society 84
  • Notes 96
  • 5 - Attitudes, Values, and the Political Process in Morocco 98
  • Notes 116
  • 6 - The Interface Between Family and State 117
  • Note 140
  • 7 - Recent Economic Trends: Managing the Indebtedness 141
  • Note 158
  • 8 - Morocco's Agricultural Crisis 159
  • 9 - Morocco's International Economic Relations 173
  • Notes 185
  • 10 - The Impact of the Saharan Dispute on Moroccan Foreign and Domestic Policy 188
  • 11 - Image and Reality in Moroccan Political Economy 212
  • References 243
  • Index 257
  • About the Contributors 263
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