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Rassemblement National Des Indépendants (RNI)

RASSEMBLEMENT NATIONAL DES INDéPENDANTS (RNI)

Parliamentary grouping of independent supporters of Morocco's monarchy.

The Rassemblement National des Indépendants (RNI), founded in October 1978, projected a centrist liberal image representing landowners, senior civil servants, technocrats, industrialists, and businessmen, many from old established families. Initially, it held 141 seats in parliament, making it the largest single group there. It was led by King Hassan II's brother-in-law, Ahmed Osman (prime minister 19721979), and the king's cousin, Ahmed Alawi. In 1981 a breakaway group led by former trade union leader and labor minister Muhammad Arslane Jadidi and Abdel Hamid Kacemi, representing a group of rural landholding notables, formed the Parti des Indépendants Démocrates, later renamed the Parti National Démocratique (PND). Following the 1981 government reshuffle, the RNI was left out of the government in order to create a "loyal opposition." In the 1984 parliamentary elections the RNI lost 80 seats and was replaced by the newly formed Union Constitutionelle (UC) as the single largest party in parliament, although it subsequently was part of the governing coalition, and Osman was named speaker of parliament. In 1993 the party refrained from affiliating with the pro-palace Entente bloc, preferring to run alone in parliamentary elections. It suffered a further loss of 20 seats in the 1993 parliamentary elections and was left out of the newly formed government of technocrats. In 1997 it won 46 seats and joined the government led by the Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires (USFP) as a junior partner with six cabinet posts. In the 2002 elections it won 41 seats and again received six cabinet posts in the new government headed by the nonparty king's loyalist Driss Jettou.

see also morocco: political parties in; parti national démocratique (pnd); union socialiste des forces populaires (usfp).


Bibliography


Pennell, C. R. Morocco Since 1830. New York: New York University Press, 2000.

Waterbury, John. The Commander of the Faithful. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1970.

bruce maddy-weitzman

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