Morocco is a pluralistic democracy.
Article 7 of the new Constitution stipulates that « Political parties work on surrounding and presenting a political education to citizens, promoting their participation in national life and managing public affairs. They contribute in expressing the will of electors and participate in exercising the power based on pluralism and alternation through democratic tools, in an atmosphere of constitutional institutions. Their establishment and the practice of their activities are free, by respecting the Constitution and the law. There shall be no one-party system.
With the beginning of the consensual alternation government experience that was committed in 1997, a new era starts in Morocco.
The existence of political parties, trade unions and an active and pluralistic political life does not date back to three or four decades, quite the contrary. It dates back to the beginning of last century. Certainly, it was embryonic, but during the reign of Sultan Moulay Hafid, it allowed to the political and intellectual Moroccan elites to gradually substitute the Brotherhoods, zaouias, and clerics (oulémas).
Long before that, the Sultan Moulay Hassan the First made a commitment to the tribes, the oulemas, the zaouias, brotherhood and major components of its nation to promote a political system based on Shura (consultation) and to ensure that all the forces of the Moroccan nation can express themselves freely and with dignity in the context of a Muslim state, tolerant and open to the world.
Today, Morocco counts more than 36 political parties of all tendencies: right-wing, center, left-wing, Islamist parties in addition to many trade unions organisations.
A period of sixty years separates some old parties from those which were formed later. This applies to the Moroccan Communist Party (MCP) founded in 1943, the Istiqlal Party (IP) created in 1944 and the Democratic Party for Independence (DPI) appeared in 1946.
These two parties stemmed From the Committee of National Action, founded in the 1930s by the Moroccan nationalists to counter the Berber Dahir and present claims of political and social reforms to the French authorities of the Protectorate
For its part, the evolution of the MCP witnessed many ups and downs. Banned in 1952, it reappeared in 1969 under the name of the Party for the Socialist Liberation (PSL) before the legalization of the party in 1974 under the name of the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS).
Between 1956 and 1999, twelve parties were born, namely the Popular Movement (PM) created in 1958, the front of Independence and Choura (FIC), in 1963, the Constitutional and Democratic Popular Movement (CDPM), in 1965. The later became Party of Justice and Development (PJD).
Three new parties will be founded at the time of the Green March: the Party of Action (PA) in 1974, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (SUPF) in 1975, which broke away from the National Union of Popular Forces (NUPF) founded in 1959 following a scission within the (IP), in addition to the National Rally of Independents (NRI) in 1977.
Three new political parties were added to the Moroccan political scenery during the following decade: the National Democrat Party (NDP) in 1981, the Constitutional Union (CU) in 1983, and the Social Center Party (SCP) in 1984.
Five other parties were formed in the nineties: the Avant Garde Social Democratic Party (SDP), founded in 1991 at the time of the creation of the National popular Movement (NPM), the Social Democrat Mouvement (SDM), and the Socialist Democratic Party (SDP) in 1996, as well as the Front of Democratic Forces (FDF) in 1997.
As for the “parties of the new millennium”, four were set up in 2001: the Democratic Union (DU), the Citizens’ Forces Party (CFP), the National Ittihadi Congress (NIC) and the Reform and Development Party (RDP).
Six other parties were created in 2002: the Alliance of Liberties (AL), the Party of Citizen Initiative for Development (CIDP), the Party of Renewal and Equity (PRE), Al Ahd Party (AP), the Environment and Development Party (EDP) and the Moroccan Liberal Party (MLP).
The last party to be founded is the Leftist Unified Socialist Party (USP), following a fusion between the Organization of Democratic and Popular Action (ODPA), the Movement of Independent Democrats (MID) and the Movement for Democracy (MD).
In 2005, the popular bloc was reunified under one political party: the Popular Alliance.
During the last legislative elections held in November 1997, only sixteen parties were in contention; all of which, except the MPD, won seats in the House of Representatives. The number of seats varied between 1 for the Democratic Party for Independence with 57 seats against 57 for the SUPF.
Seven among these parties, still in contention for the present legislative elections, constitute the present governmental coalition: the SUPF, the IP, the PPS, the NRI, the MNP, the PSD and the FFD.
The party “authenticity and modernity” was set up in February 20th, 2009, this latter that refers to the first constitutive congress.