In Morocco's early parliamentary elections (November 25) the "Justice and Development Party" (PJD) won more than a quarter of all parliamentary seats (107 of 395 as compared to 47 MPs elected from 325 in the previous parliament), and this with an increased voter turnout, around 45% of registered voters.
Under the new Constitution, accepted by the people in a referendum in July, King Mohammed VI shall appoint as Prime Minister the leader of the winning party in the elections.
Thus, for the first time, Moroccan Islamists are able to gain power, but a compromise must be found by their General Secretary Abdelilah Benkirane with the other major parties: "Istiqlal" (independence) of the current prime minister, with 60 elected MPs, and the "National Rally of Independents" (RNI) that won 52 seats.
The current dominant political party of the country, the PJD identifies itself as both "Islamic" and "monarchist", and seeks to reassure the West, although the explosive character of the Secretary General of the PJD is giving rise to criticism within the Moroccan political class. Abdelilah Benkirane wants to at least take power of the country's institutions: he has also reaffirmed his allegiance to King Abdullah.
In Tunisia, the number 2 of the Islamist party "Ennahda" Hamadi Jebali, will soon become the head of the country's government, following an agreement between the three main political parties.
With 29 representatives elected to the Constituent Assembly on October 23, the "Congress for the Republic" (CPR) will be given the presidency in the person of Marzouki, while the left-wing "Ettakatol" (20 seats) has seen its leader Mustapha Ben Jaafar elected president of the new Constituent Assembly.
The "Ennahda" party of the future Prime Minister has dominated its rivals by winning 89 representatives on October 23. This organisation claims to model itself on the openly secular Turkish model while also identifying itself as Islamic.