In an article for Sada on December 2, 2008, Research Associate James Liddell writes that Morocco’s newly formed Party of Authenticity and Modernity may lack a coherent political ideology, but it will seek to leverage the interests of its elite members through connections to the throne.
Since the creation of the Movement of All Democrats earlier this year, many observers knew it would be just a matter of time before former Deputy Interior Minister and newly elected MP Fouad Ali El Himma would turn his association into a political party. Shortly after forming parliamentary coalitions in both the upper and lower houses, the Party for Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) was born. Although the PAM still lacks a coherent ideology, it does have two explicit policy goals: to fulfill the king’s desire to bring about a (much needed) rationalization of the party landscape, and to stand up to the moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD).
While it is too early to predict the PAM’s long-term impact on the dynamics of Moroccan politics, its initial maneuvers reveal a reinforcement of embedded elite structures rather than any sort of renewal or change. From the outset, El Himma aggressively pursued alliances with the Popular Movement (MP), Constitutional Union (UC), and National Rally of Independents (RNI). The PAM merged recently with RNI to form the largest coalition in Parliament—“Rally and Modernity”—and the MP and UC are expected to follow suit. El Himma is relying on the three parties most known for lacking a clear message and being nothing more than a collection of pro-palace elites. Representatives from these parties are primarily rural notables and urban elites who gain parliamentary seats due to their patronage networks. They have little to no contact with their constituents and typically move from party to party.
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