Morocco PM's party wins election

image copyrightEPA
image captionTurnout was 43%, according to the interior ministry

Morocco's governing Islamists in the Justice and Development Party (PJD) have won the country's parliamentary election.

With 90% of the votes counted, they have taken 99 seats, putting them ahead of their rival, the Authenticity and Modernity Party, which won 80 seats.

The PJD had said a second term would allow it to press ahead with its economic and social reforms.

This was Morocco's second poll since it adopted constitutional reforms in 2011.

In third place is the conservative Istiqlal party with 31 seats.

Other parties took the remaining 305 seats contested, with another 90 being allotted to women and other candidates chosen proportionally from party lists.

image copyrightReuters
image captionAbdelilah Benkirane (centre) hailed the PJD's victory early on Saturday

Most executive power was vested in the king until 2011, when Mohammed VI agreed to turn the country into a constitutional monarchy in the wake of the Arab Spring protests across the region.

Although the king relinquished some of his powers as part of the constitutional reform, he is still the most powerful person in the country and chooses the prime minister from the winning party.

The PJD, led by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, has led a broad coalition since emerging as the biggest party in the 2011 election.

"The Moroccan people voted for PJD massively," Mr Benkirane said, as his party won a second victory.

"The PJD has proven today that being serious and truthful ... and being faithful to the institutions, especially the monarchy, is a winning currency."

Turnout among the 16m electorate was 43%, according to Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad.

image copyrightAFP
image captionParty symbols help illiterate voters mark their ballot papers

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