Justice and Development Party (Morocco)

Justice and Development Party
Arabic: حزب العدالة والتنمية
French: Parti de la justice et du développement
Standard Moroccan Tamazight: ⴰⴽⴰⴱⴰⵔ ⵏ ⵜⴰⵏⵣⵣⴰⵔⴼⵓⵜ ⴷ ⵜⴰⵏⴼⵍⵉⵜ
Abbreviation JDP (English)
PJD (French)
General Secretary Vacant
Founder Abdelkrim al-Khatib
Founded 1967; 54 years ago (1967)
Split from Popular Movement
Headquarters 4, rue El Yefrani Cité les Orangers, Rabat
Newspaper Almisbah
Religion Islam
Colours   Blue   Orange
House of Representatives
13 / 395
House of Councillors
12 / 120
Saadeddine Othmani
Abdelilah Benkirane

The Justice and Development Party[a] is a political party in Morocco that advocates for political Islam. It was the ruling party of Morocco from 2011 to 2021.


PJD was founded by Abdelkrim al-Khatib, one of the founders of the Popular Movement party, from which he was expelled in the mid-1960s, under the name of MPDC (French: Mouvement populaire démocratique et constitutionnel, the "Popular Democratic and Constitutional Movement").[7] The party was an empty shell for many years, until various members of a clandestine association Chabiba Islamia, who later formed the MUR (French: Mouvement unité et réforme, the "Unity and Reform Movement") joined the party, with the authorisation and encouragement of former Interior Minister Driss Basri. It later changed its name to current PJD in 1998.

The party won eight seats in the parliamentary election in 1997.[8] In the parliamentary election held on 27 September 2002, the party won 42 out of 325 seats,[8] winning most of the districts where it fielded candidates. Its secretary-general since 2004 was Saadeddine Othmani, MP representing Mohammedia. In the parliamentary election held on 7 September 2007, the PJD won 43 out of 325 seats,[9] behind the Istiqlal Party, which won 52. This was contrary to expectations that the PJD would win the most seats.[10] However, the party had limited number of candidates in the election.[9]

Abdelilah Benkirane was elected leader of the PJD in July 2008, taking over from Saadeddine Othmani.[11] Having won a plurality of seats (107 seats) in the November 2011 parliamentary election,[12][13] the party formed a coalition with three parties that had been part of previous governments, and Benkirane was appointed Prime Minister of Morocco on 29 November 2011.[14][15]

His new government has targeted average economic growth of 5.5 percent a year during its four-year mandate, and to reduce the jobless rate to 8 percent by the end of 2016 from 9.1 percent at the start of 2012.[15] Benkirane's government has also actively pursued Morocco’s ties with the European Union, its chief trade partner, as well as becoming increasingly engaged with the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council.

In the 2021 general election, the PJD suffered a crushing defeat, losing 113 seats.


PJD is a conservative Islamic-democratic party which supports the Moroccan monarchy. PJD disavows violence, terrorism and seeks to defend Morocco’s Islamic identity through legislative means.[8][16]

According to a paper published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the PJD has placed economic and legal issues at the core of its platform and is committed to internal democracy.[17]

The party's stated platform includes:[18]

  • Education reform and reestablishment.
  • Economic partnerships with other countries.
  • Enhancement of democracy and human rights.
  • Encouraging investment.
  • Greater "Arab and Muslim unity".

Electoral results

Moroccan Parliament

House of Representatives
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1977 625,786 (#3) 12.40
44 / 264
Abdelkrim al-Khatib
1984 69,862 (#8) 1.6
0 / 301
Decrease 44
Abdelkrim al-Khatib
1993 Did not participate
0 / 333
1997 264,324 (#10) 4.1
9 / 325
Increase 9
Abdelkrim al-Khatib
2002 ? (#3) 12.92
42 / 325
Increase 33
Abdelkrim al-Khatib
2007 503,396 (#2) 10.9
46 / 325
Increase 4
Saadeddine Othmani
2011 1,080,914 (#1) 22.8
107 / 395
Increase 61
Abdelilah Benkirane
2016 1,618,963 (#1) 27.88
125 / 395
Increase 18
Abdelilah Benkirane
2021 TBD TBD
13 / 395
Decrease 112
Saadeddine Othmani