Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Morocco Reacts to French Election Result

In the French presidential run-off on Sunday, Francois Hollande took just under 52 percent of votes to defeat conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. Socialist Hollande's win over Sarkozy has been generally welcomed in Morocco.

Francois Hollande

HM King Mohammed VI said it "reflects the French people's aspirations for change that will bring a better future, full of progress and prosperity." He vowed to rework a deal on government debt in eurozone member countries to focus on promoting growth. In a message to Francois Hollande, Mohammed VI said, "Under your presidency, France will certainly obtain significant results that will reinforce the unique position it occupies on the international stage. As a superpower, it has helped champion human rights and freedom in a coherent way". He added that the "special ties" and the "strategic partnership" between France and Morocco, a former French protectorate, would "become ever-stronger".

The Socialist victory and the defeat of pro-austerity parties in Greece's general election on Sunday caused jitters on Monday in international markets.

Morocco World News reports that the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Saad Eddin El Otmani told the Casablanca-based Radio Plus that the French-Moroccan relations will not be affected by the arrival of the socialists to power in France.

Saad Eddin Outmani

He stressed on the strength and depth of the countries bilateral relations and the common interest they share, especially that Morocco is considered the primary Arab and African economic and political partner for France.

On the Sahara issue, the head of the Moroccan diplomacy pointed out that France’s support to Morocco’s efforts won’t be affected. In this regard, he highlighted that French Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry had said, in a meeting with King Mohammed VI, that France’s position on the Sahara issue has not changed and that the French Socialist Party believes that the autonomy plan presented by Morocco in April 2007 to the UN Security Council is a reasonable and logical solution to this issue.

In April 2007, Morocco presented an autonomy plan to the Security Council in order to find a long lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the Sahara issue. The said plan was welcomed by members of the Council as a “serious” and “credible” basis for the settlement of this issue.

France has been the staunchest supporter of the Moroccan efforts geared towards finding a solution on the basis of this autonomy plan.

Many of France's close to seven million immigrants are from Morocco and other North African countries. France has the largest Muslim population in western Europe.

Hollande, the first Socialist to win the French presidency since the early 1980s, is expected to be sworn in on 15 May.

Sarkozy becomes the latest European leader to be voted out of office amid widespread voter anger at austerity measures triggered by the eurozone debt crisis.

Opinion surveys taken in France on Sunday showed the left strongly placed to win a majority in June parliamentary elections, especially since the anti-immigration National Front is set to split the right-wing vote at the expense of Sarkozy's UMP party.


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