« 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 »

Tiré de l’Arab Reform Bulletin du Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – bulletin qui n’est pas trop ma tasse de thé – plus spécifiquement d’un article d’un chercheur – James Liddell – du Project on Middle East Democracy, un think-tank très mainstream de Washington tout dévoué à la « démocratisation » du Moyen-Orient par la bonne fée étatsunienne, cet article sur Fouad Ali el Himma et son PAM (programme alimentaire marocain Parti authenticité et modernité):

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.

power and personality—and not formal institutions—remain the most effective means of accomplishing things in Morocco.

In his efforts to build support for the PAM, El Himma routinely invokes the discourse of modernity; time after time, however, he resorts to practices of clientelism that contradict such language.

The irony, of course, is that the PJD is—by any definition—the most modern political party in Morocco. It is the most internally democratic party, the only one with a constituent relations program, and the only one that draws votes based on the party’s message and not the candidates’ family names. While most representatives view parliament as an old boys’ club for renewing personal contacts, the PJD has enacted a parliamentary code of ethics to discipline its representatives. This requires them to draft amendments, propose new legislation, and ask oral questions. While many parliamentarians from other parties do not bother to show up most of the time, the PJD requires attendance at plenary and committee sessions.

Intéressant de relever que même un think-thank washingtonien, par définition plutôt prédisposé à voir d’un bon oeil une initiative d’un proche du palais – fidèle allié étatsunien – pour contrer l’islamisme politique et « moderniser » la vie politique, ne soit pas dupe de la modernité authentique. La lune de miel aura été courte.

Addendum: Je ne croyais pas si bien dire dans ma dernière phrase – il y a six mois, un autre chercheur – Andrew Ng – du même think-tank était d’un optimisme béat au sujet de l’aventure du programme alimentaire marocain Parti authenticité et modernité, comparant même – merci de contrôler votre vessie en lisant ce qui suit – moul traktor à Barack Obama (yes, they did!):

While little noted outside of Morocco, the emergence of the movement carries notable implications for reform in the kingdom. As with presidential candidate Barack Obama’s rhetoric of “post-partisan politics” in the United States, the movement begs the immediate question of what a broad-based call to transcend the current political system can actually amount to.

Ironically, the movement may well absorb some of the anger and alienation that expressed itself in the 37 percent voter turnout and alarmingly high rate of ballot spoilage in the 2007 elections. Himma’s castigation of national elites and parliament resonates with public opinion, while his association with the king actually works in the movement’s favor on balance by lending it credibility.

That the movement will simply renew the political system and not reform it is not necessarily a foregone conclusion, depending upon the movement’s vision for parliament. The more the MAD behaves like a royally-blessed association dismissive of parliament, the more it will reinforce the political status quo. The more, however, the movement builds up a grassroots network that puts the parliament to work and creates pressure among existing traditional political parties to step up—especially as it transitions from a movement into a political party—the less ironic its name will sound.

I’ve never heard anything funnier in the field of political satire since Tina Fey’s impersonification of Sarah Palin.

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