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Islamists Gain in Morocco

September 29, 2002|From Associated Press

RABAT, Morocco — An Islamic party that bans alcohol and favors veils for women more than doubled its number of seats in parliamentary elections, according to preliminary government figures released today.

With a few seats still undecided, the Justice and Development Party had 37 in the 325-member House of Representatives, Interior Minister Driss Jettou said on Moroccan television. That more than doubled the 14 seats previously held by the party.

The socialists of Abderrahmane Youssoufi, prime minister in the last legislature, were leading with 44 seats, Jettou said. The conservative Istiqlal Party had 40. A center-right party won 37 seats.

Twenty-six parties covering the political spectrum participated in Friday's elections, but none of them were expected to emerge with a majority.

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