Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco

Year of Origin:

1967Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/.

Founder(s):
Dr. Abdelkrim Al Khatib
Place(s) of Operation:
Morocco

Morocco

The Justice and Development Party (PJD)—also known as the Islamic Party of Justice and Development—is the ruling party in Morocco.Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/; Associated Press, “Moroccans favor conservative party instead of ushering in Islamic party,” International Herald Tribune, September 9, 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20081014084028/http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/10/africa/AF-GEN-Morocco-Elections.php; “Youth Perceptions in Morocco: Political Parties in the Wake of Legislative Elections,” National Democratic Institute, April 2012, p. 2, https://www.ndi.org/files/Morocco-Youth-FG-Report-070212.pdf. Until 2013, the PJD was the Moroccan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (i.e., the Brotherhood), though the party has formally disavowed the Brotherhood following the ouster of former Egyptian President and Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html. Despite distancing the PJD from the Brotherhood, former PJD leader and former Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane has shown support for Morsi.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html. The PJD has also reportedly participated in at least one global Brotherhood meeting.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html

Led by Morocco’s Saad Eddine El Othmani, the PJD has been Morocco’s ruling party since November of 2011, when the party gained a plurality of seats in Morocco’s parliament. The PJD is an Islamist political party that reportedly seeks to erect an Islamist democratic government,“Islamist PJD party wins Morocco poll,” BBC News, November 27, 2011, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-15902703; Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/. and largely focuses on improving the national economy and maintaining political stability.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html; Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/; Mohammed Masbah, “His Majesty’s Islamists: The Moroccan Experience,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 23, 2015, http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/03/23/his-majesty-s-islamists-moroccan-experience.

Originally named the Popular Democratic and Constitutional Movement (MPDC), the PJD was formed in 1967 by political activist and surgeon Abdelkrim Al Khatib. For years, the MPDC reportedly struggled to establish itself as a political entity until the Chabib Islamia (Islamic Youth) joined the party. The Islamic Youth later formed the Unification and Reform Movement (URM), and, in 1988, the groups officially began operating as the Justice and Development Party (PJD).Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/.

The PJD first gained support in Morocco during the September 2002 parliamentary elections. That year, the PJD was only represented in a few districts, but in each district that the party was represented, it secured a majority of the available seats.Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/.

In 2004, Saad Eddine El Othmani replaced Khatib as the PJD’s secretary-general. In contrast to other Islamist parties at the time, the PJD under Othman’s leadership formally recognized the Moroccan monarchy. This was a significant policy shift as the PJD—once in staunch opposition to the throne—now publicly supported it. In response, the PJD reportedly gained popularity throughout the country. In the next elections in September of 2007, the PJD won 46 out of 325 seats, narrowly losing the plurality of seats to the country’s leading Istiqlal Party.“Morocco’s moderate Islamist PJD party wins 107 seats,” Al Arabiya, November 27, 2011, https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/27/179546.html; Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/; Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/.

In 2008, former political activist Benkirane assumed leadership over the PJD. By the 2011 elections, the PJD’s popularity had surged. In the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democratic protests accused the Moroccan government of “lack of freedoms and widespread corruption,” according to Al Arabiya.“Morocco’s moderate Islamist PJD party wins 107 seats,” Al Arabiya, November 27, 2011, https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/27/179546.html. In response, the PJD reoriented its platform, focusing on addressing social issues such as legalizing public music festivals and the sale of alcohol, and ran on a campaign that promised to limit corruption, create jobs, and increase the minimum wage. From the 2007 to 2011 elections, voter turnout increased by nearly 10 percent, and the PJD won a plurality of 107 parliamentary seats. The former ruling Istiqlal party lost by 47 parliamentary seats.“Morocco’s moderate Islamist PJD party wins 107 seats,” Al Arabiya, November 27, 2011, https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/27/179546.html. With the PJD as the new ruling party, King Mohammed VI appointed PJD party leader Benkirane as Morocco’s first Islamist prime minister.Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/; Associated Press, “Moroccans favor conservative party instead of ushering in Islamic party,” International Herald Tribune, September 9, 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20081014084028/http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/10/africa/AF-GEN-Morocco-Elections.php; “Youth Perceptions in Morocco: Political Parties in the Wake of Legislative Elections,” National Democratic Institute, April 2012, p. 2, https://www.ndi.org/files/Morocco-Youth-FG-Report-070212.pdf.

Though the Moroccan monarchy has supported members of the PJD, in recent years it has consistently condemned the global Brotherhood movement. Following Morsi’s 2013 ouster in Egypt, King Mohammed VI of Morocco became the first North African leader to express his support for Morsi’s “quick” and “decisive” removal.Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/. It was around this time that the PJD began to publicly renounce any affiliation to the Egyptian Brotherhood.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html.

In February 2013, Benkirane stated that the PJD is an Islamist party that shares some of the same ideologies as the Brotherhood, but operates “with different principles.”Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/. Benkirane reportedly denied that the PJD belongs to the global Brotherhood movement, instead claiming that each Islamist movement has “its own political thought.”Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/.

The PJD again denied affiliation with the Brotherhood in January 2015 when, at a National Council meeting, the PJD was publicly accused of attempting to “Islami[z]e Moroccan society.”“Morocco ruling party says independent of Brotherhood,” Middle East Monitor, January 11, 2015, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20150111-morocco-ruling-party-says-independent-of-brotherhood/. Benkirane reaffirmed the PJD’s Islamist agenda, but claimed that its philosophy differed from that of the Brotherhood. “The political reform model set by the [the PJD],” he told the crowd, “has nothing to do with unknown parties either inside or outside Morocco….There is no organizational relationship between [us].”“Morocco ruling party says independent of Brotherhood,” Middle East Monitor, January 11, 2015, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20150111-morocco-ruling-party-says-independent-of-brotherhood/.

Despite Benkirane’s claims to the contrary, there are ongoing reports of PJD associations with the Egyptian Brotherhood. When Morsi took office as Egypt’s president in 2012, the PJD produced a written statement of approval for the Egyptian Brotherhood leader. Benkirane also congratulated Morsi’s win saying, “any other news [would be] deception to the democratic pathway in the region.”Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html. Following the 2013 coup in Egypt that toppled Morsi’s government, a group of Moroccan Islamist politicians—including several PJD members—attempted to sign a petition denouncing the coup. The petition fell short of 525 signatures to pass into law.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html.

Since then, the PJD has continued to have associations with the global Brotherhood movement. Also in 2013, the PJD composed a letter to a number of international bodies—including the U.N. secretary-general, the U.N. Security Council, the European Union, and the European Parliament—calling for the organizations to condemn the Egyptian coup leaders. In September 2013, PJD members reportedly attended a global Brotherhood meeting in Lahore, Pakistan, to discuss the correct response to the situation in Egypt.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html.

The PJD has since continued to openly support the Moroccan monarchy, publicly distance itself from the Brotherhood, and sustain its domestic popularity. In September 2015, the PJD continued to experience popular support, winning the majority of urban municipal seats in the country’s local elections.Mohamed Daadaoui, “Morocco’s Islamist party has just made another major breakthrough,” Washington Post, September 16, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/09/16/moroccos-islamist-party-has-just-made-another-major-breakthrough/.

On September 26, 2016, nearly 10,000 supporters took part in the PJD’s opening rally in Rabat, Morocco, ahead of that year’s parliamentary elections. A total of 30 political parties took part in the October 6, 2016, parliamentary electionsVictor Muisyo, “Morocco: Islamist PJD party kicks off campaigns for legislative polls,” Africanews, September 26, 2016, http://www.africanews.com/2016/09/26/morocco-islamist-pjd-party-kicks-off-campaigns-f

The Justice and Development Party (PJD)—also known as the Islamic Party of Justice and Development—is the ruling party in Morocco.Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/; Associated Press, “Moroccans favor conservative party instead of ushering in Islamic party,” International Herald Tribune, September 9, 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20081014084028/http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/10/africa/AF-GEN-Morocco-Elections.php; “Youth Perceptions in Morocco: Political Parties in the Wake of Legislative Elections,” National Democratic Institute, April 2012, p. 2, https://www.ndi.org/files/Morocco-Youth-FG-Report-070212.pdf. Until 2013, the PJD was the Moroccan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (i.e., the Brotherhood), though the party has formally disavowed the Brotherhood following the ouster of former Egyptian President and Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html. Despite distancing the PJD from the Brotherhood, PJD leader and former Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane has shown support for Morsi.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html. The PJD has also reportedly participated in at least one global Brotherhood meeting.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html

Led by Morocco’s first Islamist prime minister, Benkirane, the PJD has been Morocco’s ruling party since November of 2011, when the party gained a plurality of seats in Morocco’s parliament. The PJD is an Islamist political party that reportedly seeks to erect an Islamist democratic government,“Islamist PJD party wins Morocco poll,” BBC News, November 27, 2011, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-15902703; Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/. and largely focuses on improving the national economy and maintaining political stability.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html; Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/; Mohammed Masbah, “His Majesty’s Islamists: The Moroccan Experience,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 23, 2015, http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/03/23/his-majesty-s-islamists-moroccan-experience.

Originally named the Popular Democratic and Constitutional Movement (MPDC), the PJD was formed in 1967 by political activist and surgeon Abdelkrim Al Khatib. For years, the MPDC reportedly struggled to establish itself as a political entity until the Chabib Islamia (Islamic Youth) joined the party. The Islamic Youth later formed the Unification and Reform Movement (URM), and, in 1988, the groups officially began operating as the Justice and Development Party (PJD).Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/.

The PJD first gained support in Morocco during the September 2002 parliamentary elections. That year, the PJD was only represented in a few districts, but in each district that the party was represented, it secured a majority of the available seats.Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/.

In 2004, Saadeddine Othman replaced Khatib as the PJD’s secretary-general. In contrast to other Islamist parties at the time, the PJD under Othman’s leadership formally recognized the Moroccan monarchy. This was a significant policy shift as the PJD—once in staunch opposition to the throne—now publicly supported it. In response, the PJD reportedly gained popularity throughout the country. In the next elections in September of 2007, the PJD won 46 out of 325 seats, narrowly losing the plurality of seats to the country’s leading Istiqlal Party.“Morocco’s moderate Islamist PJD party wins 107 seats,” Al Arabiya, November 27, 2011, https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/27/179546.html; Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/; Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/.

In 2008, former political activist Benkirane assumed leadership over the PJD. By the 2011 elections, the PJD’s popularity had surged. In the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democratic protests accused the Moroccan government of “lack of freedoms and widespread corruption,” according to Al Arabiya.“Morocco’s moderate Islamist PJD party wins 107 seats,” Al Arabiya, November 27, 2011, https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/27/179546.html. In response, the PJD reoriented its platform, focusing on addressing social issues such as legalizing public music festivals and the sale of alcohol, and ran on a campaign that promised to limit corruption, create jobs, and increase the minimum wage. From the 2007 to 2011 elections, voter turnout increased by nearly 10 percent, and the PJD won a plurality of 107 parliamentary seats. The former ruling Istiqlal party lost by 47 parliamentary seats.“Morocco’s moderate Islamist PJD party wins 107 seats,” Al Arabiya, November 27, 2011, https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/27/179546.html. With the PJD as the new ruling party, King Mohammed VI appointed PJD party leader Benkirane as Morocco’s first Islamist prime minister.Mohammed Hirichi, “Political Islam in Morocco: The Case of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD),” Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, August 2007, http://concernedafricascholars.org/bulletin/issue77/hirchi/; Associated Press, “Moroccans favor conservative party instead of ushering in Islamic party,” International Herald Tribune, September 9, 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20081014084028/http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/10/africa/AF-GEN-Morocco-Elections.php; “Youth Perceptions in Morocco: Political Parties in the Wake of Legislative Elections,” National Democratic Institute, April 2012, p. 2, https://www.ndi.org/files/Morocco-Youth-FG-Report-070212.pdf.

Though the Moroccan monarchy has supported members of the PJD, in recent years it has consistently condemned the global Brotherhood movement. Following  Morsi’s 2013 ouster in Egypt, King Mohammed VI of Morocco became the first North African leader to express his support for Morsi’s “quick” and “decisive” removal.Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/. It was around this time that the PJD began to publicly renounce any affiliation to the Egyptian Brotherhood.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html.

In February 2013, Benkirane stated that the PJD is an Islamist party that shares some of the same ideologies as the Brotherhood, but operates “with different principles.”Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/. Benkirane reportedly denied that the PJD belongs to the global Brotherhood movement, instead claiming that each Islamist movement has “its own political thought.”Betty Chemier, Eduardo Zachary Albrecht, “The PJD in Morocco: Strengths and Weaknesses,” Fair Observer, September 5, 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/the-pjd-in-morocco-strengths-and-weaknesses-57321/.

The PJD again denied affiliation with the Brotherhood in January 2015 when, at a National Council meeting, the PJD was publicly accused of attempting to “Islami[z]e Moroccan society.”“Morocco ruling party says independent of Brotherhood,” Middle East Monitor, January 11, 2015, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20150111-morocco-ruling-party-says-independent-of-brotherhood/. Benkirane reaffirmed the PJD’s Islamist agenda, but claimed that its philosophy differed from that of the Brotherhood. “The political reform model set by the [the PJD],” he told the crowd, “has nothing to do with unknown parties either inside or outside Morocco….There is no organizational relationship between [us].”“Morocco ruling party says independent of Brotherhood,” Middle East Monitor, January 11, 2015, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20150111-morocco-ruling-party-says-independent-of-brotherhood/.

Despite Benkirane’s claims to the contrary, there are ongoing reports of PJD associations with the Egyptian Brotherhood. When Morsi took office as Egypt’s president in 2012, the PJD produced a written statement of approval for the Egyptian Brotherhood leader. Benkirane also congratulated Morsi’s win saying, “any other news [would be] deception to the democratic pathway in the region.”Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html. Following the 2013 coup in Egypt that toppled Morsi’s government, a group of Moroccan Islamist politicians—including several PJD members—attempted to sign a petition denouncing the coup. The petition fell short of 525 signatures to pass into law.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya, October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html.

Since then, the PJD has continued to have associations with the global Brotherhood movement. Also in 2013, the PJD composed a letter to a number of international bodies—including the U.N. secretary-general, the U.N. Security Council, the European Union, and the European Parliament—calling for the organizations to condemn the Egyptian coup leaders. In September 2013, PJD members reportedly attended a global Brotherhood meeting in Lahore, Pakistan, to discuss the correct response to the situation in Egypt.Idriss al-Kanboury, “Morocco’s Islamists and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,” Al Arabiya October 30, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/alarabiya-studies/2013/10/30/Morocco-s-Islamists-and-the-Egyptian-Muslim-Brotherhood.html.

The PJD has since continued to openly support the Moroccan monarchy, publicly distance itself from the Brotherhood, and sustain its domestic popularity. In September 2015, the PJD continued to experience popular support, winning the majority of urban municipal seats in the country’s local elections.Mohamed Daadaoui, “Morocco’s Islamist party has just made another major breakthrough,” Washington Post, September 16, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/09/16/moroccos-islamist-party-has-just-made-another-major-breakthrough/.

On September 26, 2016, nearly 10,000 supporters took part in the PJD’s opening rally in Rabat, Morocco, ahead of that year’s parliamentary elections. A total of 30 political parties took part in the October 6, 2016, parliamentary electionsVictor Muisyo, “Morocco: Islamist PJD party kicks off campaigns for legislative polls,” Africanews, September 26, 2016, http://www.africanews.com/2016/09/26/morocco-islamist-pjd-party-kicks-off-campaigns-for-legislative-polls/. in which the PJD won the plurality, 125 out of 395 seats.Edward Yeranian, “Morocco’s PJD Wins Most Seats in Parliamentary Election,” Voice of America, October 8, 2016, http://www.voanews.com/a/morocco-justice-development-party-wins-most-seats-parliamentary-election/3542370.html. Benkirane was appointed to another term as the country’s prime minister on October 10, 2016, but Benkirane could not form a governing coalition.“Moroccan king reappoints Abdelilah Benkirane as PM,” Al Jazeera, October 10, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/moroccan-king-reappoints-abdelilah-bekirane-pm-161010182453418.html; Aziz El Yaakoubi, “Morocco political deadlock deepens as premier ends coalition talks,” Reuters, January 9, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-morocco-politics-idUSKBN14T1IG. On March 17, 2017, Morocco’s king appointed the PJD’s Saad Eddine El Othmani, a former foreign minister, as the country’s prime minister.“Morocco's king names PJD's Othmani as new prime minister,” Reuters, March 17, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-morocco-politics-idUSKBN16O1WU?il=0.

or-legislative-polls/. in which the PJD won the plurality, 125 out of 395 seats.Edward Yeranian, “Morocco’s PJD Wins Most Seats in Parliamentary Election,” Voice of America, October 8, 2016, http://www.voanews.com/a/morocco-justice-development-party-wins-most-seats-parliamentary-election/3542370.html. Benkirane was appointed to another term as the country’s prime minister on October 10, 2016, but Benkirane could not form a governing coalition.“Moroccan king reappoints Abdelilah Benkirane as PM,” Al Jazeera, October 10, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/moroccan-king-reappoints-abdelilah-bekirane-pm-161010182453418.html; Aziz El Yaakoubi, “Morocco political deadlock deepens as premier ends coalition talks,” Reuters, January 9, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-morocco-politics-idUSKBN14T1IG. On March 17, 2017, Morocco’s king appointed the PJD’s Saad Eddine El Othmani, a former foreign minister, as the country’s prime minister.“Morocco's king names PJD's Othmani as new prime minister,” Reuters, March 17, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-morocco-politics-idUSKBN16O1WU?il=0. El Othmani was appointed the new secretary-general of the PJD that December.“Morocco’s Justice and Development party elects new head,” Middle East Monitor, December 11, 2017, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171211-moroccos-justice-and-development-party-elects-new-head/. In April 2019, however, reports surfaced that conservative members of the PJD senior leadership were seeking to remove El Othmani from his position because his positions contradicted the PJD’s Islamist values.Tamba François Koundounom, “Crisis in Morocco’s PJD Deepens as Leadership ‘Plots’ to Oust El Othmani,” Morocco World News, April 12, 2019, https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2019/04/270432/crisis-in-moroccos-pjd-deepens-as-leadership-plots-to-oust-el-othmani/; Tamba François Koundounom, “El Othmani Hits Back at Benkirane Amid Morocco’s PJD Leadership Crisis,” Morocco World News, April 10, 2019, https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2019/04/270298/el-othmani-benkirane-morocco-pjd-leadership-crisis/. Benkirane has called for El Othmani to resign as he has reportedly sought to stage a political comeback, leading to a public feud with El Othmani over the future of the PJD. Conservative PJD members unhappy with El Othmani have voiced support for Benkirane to regain the party leadership while El Othmani has rejected calls for his resignation.Tamba François Koundounom, “El Othmani Hits Back at Benkirane Amid Morocco’s PJD Leadership Crisis,” Morocco World News, April 10, 2019, https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2019/04/270298/el-othmani-benkirane-morocco-pjd-leadership-crisis/.

History

 

Designations by Governments and Organizations

For a complete list of countries and organizations that have designated the Muslim Brotherhood, please see the Muslim Brotherhood's full report