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Morocco Votes Out the Old Guard

Morocco’s liberal RNI party has won the most seats in the country’s parliamentary elections, while the co-ruling moderate PJD Islamists suffered a crushing defeat, preliminary results showed. RNI, led by billionaire agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch, took 97 of the 395-seat parliament. Another liberal party, PAM, secured 82 seats and the conservative Istiqlal took 78 seats. The PJD, which had been a coalition partner in the previous two governments, had taken only 12 seats after a count of 96% of all parliamentary seats on Thursday. The results show a massive turnaround in fortunes as the RNI had won only 37 seats at the last election in 2016, while the PJD took 125. RNI ministers controlled the key economic portfolios of agriculture, finance, trade and tourism in the outgoing government. Turnout in Wednesday elections improved to 50.3%, up from 43% in 2016, as Morocco held parliamentary and local elections on the same day.