Campaigning has begun in Morocco ahead of the country’s parliamentary election next month. The moderate Islamist Justice and Development party or PJD is tipped to lead 32 other parties in the September 7 poll after its pledge to fight corruption. Secularist and Socialist politicians have tried to link the PJD with terrorism, but analysts say it is unlikely to be hindered by widespread fears of al-Qaeda inspired bombings, and accusations that Islamic militants are to blame for terrorism. Nonetheless, security has been stepped up following al-Qaeda’s regional wing’s threat to step up its war against so-called “corrupt” North African rulers and their western allies. Meanwhile, a Moroccan journalist has gone on trial for showing disrespect for King Mohammed. Ahmed Reda Benchemsi faces five years in jail for questioning the use of elections in a country where the monarchy wields ultimate power.
Moroccan election battle begins