2016 Elections: Sahrawi Voters Lay Bare the Polisario’s Illegitimacy

The Polisario Front can no longer claim to be the “legitimate representative” of the Sahrawis after it was discredited by the high turnout of voters in the Moroccan southern provinces, in the legislative elections held in Morocco on Friday, October 7.


The turnout in the southern provinces is the highest in Morocco, with 57.21% in Laayoune, 76.71% in Aousserd, 75.94% in Tarfaya, 64.30% in Boujdour, 62% in Smara, 49% in Tan Tan and 43.57% in Guelmim, against only 43% at the national level. The inhabitants of the southern provinces have demonstrated, unequivocally and spontaneously, the illegitimacy of the Polisario and their attachment to their homeland, Morocco, and to its institutions.


The vote and the electoral campaign that preceded it took place, as testified by the thousands of national and foreign observers, in serenity and calm across the Kingdom, including in the southern provinces.


Polisario leaders and Algerian rulers were actually expecting their pawns in Western Sahara to mar the elections. But to their disappointment, the atmosphere was festive and both voters and candidates have demonstrated, according to local officials, “a high sense of responsibility, sincere patriotism, political maturity and firm willingness to contribute to the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, the consecration of State institutions and the promotion of development throughout the Kingdom.”


A young local councilor, Dahi Ahmed, manager of “Universal Control Technology” company (UCT), said in this respect that “the strong participation of the sons of the southern provinces to different national and local elections is a strong and clear signal as to their commitment to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom and their adherence to the advanced regionalization project and to the democratic and reforms processes in the Kingdom.”


The October 7 election, he added, was a new opportunity for the Sahrawi population “to give the full extent of their involvement in the democratic process desired by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, through their record turnout.”


The same opinion is shared by Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center of the Washington-based think tank, “Atlantic Council”, who said that the residents of the southern provinces have, only through fulfilling their national duty, given an irrefutable evidence of their commitment to the one and indivisible territorial integrity of Morocco.