"Sad and angry"is how Maram Saidi described her emotions after the resounding defeat of the Istiqlal party in Fez. Standing as a first time candidate in the recent elections, Maram, affectionately dubbed the "Istiqlal Barbie", is having trouble digesting the defeat of Hamid Chabat and his candidates in his own city
|The photo that did not get Saidi elected|
Maram Saidi says that after her failed experiment she has now lost the taste for politics. However she is quick to venture explanations for the loss of the mayor and several districts.
Saidi said the Islamists, who now reign supreme, understood the sociology, electoral and political background of Fez and by playing the "religious card" attracted the voters who "drink their words as holy water" and believe in their social policies.
In addition, Saidi said that contrary to other parties, including the Istiqlal, they are present in the city all the time, even before the election campaign and gave the false impression of being close to the people and constantly listening. Finally, she complains that Islamists have used a photograph of her to denigrate her party.
In the lead up to the election, Istiqlal flooded the media with a photo of the young Maram Saidi, as a mascot for the party. It was a strategy that backfired when social media described her as "a bimbo, all charm and grace." It was a classic case of misreading the electorate.
Election pundits wondered what the Istiqlal electoral advisors were thinking when launching Maram Saidi into their campaign in such a conservative electorate. The women who did get elected were selected for their political prowess, not as mascots.
|More conservative women were electable|
Driss El Azami Alami, the new mayor of Fez, has not commented on Maram Saidi, but said about his party’s victory over Istiqlal and its leader Hamid Chabat that, "This is an historic day for Fez. Today the inhabitants of Fez put an end to corruption. This is a clear message that locals want a better Fez in the future. We will collaborate with them in order to bring the city back to its lost glory.”
Women won 6673 seats in the elections for municipal councils of the 4th of September, almost double the number who won of seats at the 2009 election.