Although it is not considered a “democracy”, Morocco is distinguished by its “hybrid” regime, in a region where “authoritarianism is rooted” and “the erosion of democratic principles already undermined is continuing” , according to a new report of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
The IDEA, an intergovernmental organization comprising several Member States, published this week its report on “The State of Democracy in the World 2021”. As the name suggests, the report examines the state of democracy in the world during the 2020 and 2021 by putting them back in the context of the trends since 2015. It also provides, among other things, data on measures. Taken by 165 countries in response to the pandemic as well as their impact on democracy.
The report reserves a party in the Middle East and North Africa, a region where “authoritarianism is rooted in the region”, while “the erosion of the democratic principles already undermined continues”. “This trend has been exacerbated by the Pandemic of Covid-19, governments availing themselves to strengthen their control over citizens, by resorting in some cases to physical violence,” add its editors.
A “hybrid” regime in Morocco
For the case of Morocco, the report describes it as part of “hybrid regimes”. These are defined as “belonging to non-democratic regimes”, as well as authoritarian regimes. However, “hybrid schemes tend to have a space a little more open, but still insufficient, for civil society and the media that authoritarian regimes” when “democracies organize at least the competitive elections during which the Opposition has a realistic chance to access power”.
The report also cites Morocco’s elections, when evokes these countries that “consider elections as a way out of a complicated transition”. “In Morocco, municipal, regional and legislative elections were held on September 8, 2021. However, at the time, gatherings of more than 50 people indoors and more than 100 people outdoors remained forbidden, which limited themselves. Campaign possibilities, not to mention the issue of participation (although participation by the authorities exceeded expectations at 50%)”, write its editors.
These also cite the kingdom as “journalists continue to be arrested, imprisoned and sometimes killed in the performance of their duties”, including “in the context of the government attempts to control what is reported on the pandemic COVID-19”.
The Kingdom between the Algerian “authoritarianism” and the Tunisian “democracy”
Morocco is worse than its Tunisian neighbor. Indeed, the country of jasmine remains “the only democratic regime of the subregion”. However, Tunisia is cited among the “eight countries (with Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) of the region having taken steps to Democracy, human rights and integrity of media in particular”.
The Kingdom is distinguished, however, compared to Algeria, considered by IDEA as an “authoritarian regime”; One of five in North Africa, with Egypt, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan. The report, which evokes the manifestations of the Algerian Hirak, note in this respect that “the general population and the protest movement have lost almost any confidence in the political leadership of their country in the face of threats of violence from actors. State and non-state, including arrests, murderers and politicized kidnappings.”
In the world and for the fifth consecutive year, the number of countries incurred on the path of authoritarianism has exceeded that of countries evolving towards democracy, alerted the writers of the report, who believe that “the pandemic has reinforced this negative trend, This represents the longest period of democratic decline since the beginning of the third wave of democratization initiated in the 1970s”. “Democratically elected governments, including established democracies, adopt more and more authoritarian strategies”.
In addition, “authoritarianism continues to strengthen in non-democratic regimes (hybrid and authoritarian regimes). The year 2020, with regard to the number of countries becoming more and more autocratic, has been the worst ever recorded,” concludes the report.