The Istiqlal or Independence Party (Arabic: حزب الإستقلال Ḥizb Al-Istiqlāl, French: Parti de l'Istiqlal) is a political party in Morocco. It is a conservative and monarchist party and a member of the Centrist Democrat International and International Democrat Union. Istiqlal headed a coalition government under Abbas El Fassi from 19 September 2007 to 29 November 2011. Since 2013, it has been the official opposition.
|General Secretary||Nizar Baraka|
|Headquarters||4, rue Ibn Toumert, Rabat|
|Newspaper||Al Alam (Arab)|
|European affiliation||European People’s Party (regional partner)|
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union|
Centrist Democrat International
|African affiliation||Democrat Union of Africa|
|House of Representatives|
81 / 395
|House of Councillors|
24 / 120
History and profileEdit
The party was founded in April 1937 as the National Party for Istiqlal, and became the Istiqlal Party 10 December 1943. Istiqlal held strongly nationalist views and was the main political force struggling for the independence of Morocco. The party was often critical of the ruling monarchy, after being instrumental in gaining independence from French colonialism. Independence was achieved in 1956, and the party then moved into opposition against the monarchy, which had asserted itself as the country's main political actor. Together with the leftist National Union of Popular Forces (UNFP), which split from Istiqlal in 1959, and later the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), the Istiqlal would form the backbone of the opposition to King Hassan II in the years to come. The Istiqlal party has taken part in many coalition governments from the late 1970s until the mid-1980s. In 1998, together with the USFP inside the Koutla and other smaller parties, the Istiqlal formed the Alternance, the first political experience in the Arab World where the opposition assumed power through the ballots.
In January 2006, Istiqlal criticized Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's visit to the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the north African coast, reflecting its nationalist heritage.
Istiqlal won 52 out of 325 seats in the parliamentary election held on 7 September 2007, more than any other party, and subsequently the party's leader, Abbas El Fassi, was named Prime Minister by King Mohammed VI on 19 September 2007.
Abbas El Fassi resigned as Prime Minister 29 November 2011, and resigned as Secretary-General of Istiqlal on 23 September 2012, following Justice and Development Party victory in 2011 elections.
In September 2012, Hamid Chabat was elected secretary-general of the party succeeding Abbas El Fassi.
In 2016, Istiqlal won 46 seats in parliamentary elections, a loss of 14 seats. The party joined the opposition.
On October 7, 2017, Nizar Baraka was elected Secretary-General of the Istiqlal party, by 924 votes against 230 votes for his rival and outgoing secretary-general Hamid Chabat.
House of RepresentativesEdit
41 / 144
8 / 240
51 / 264
40 / 301
52 / 333
32 / 325
|Part of the government|
48 / 325
|Part of the government|
52 / 325
|Leading the government under Abbas El Fassi|
60 / 395
|Part of the government until October 2013|
46 / 395
81 / 395
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