Western Sahara: Polisario anxious about coming polls in Morocco

ould-rachidThe Polisario leaders are distressed by the September 4 elections in Morocco, as many Sahrawis are engaged deeply in the ongoing election campaign in the cities and towns of Western Sahara.

The fact that most dismays the Polisario leadership is the unprecedented mobilization of young Sahrawis. Their enthusiasm distresses the Algeria-backed separatist Front, which has been calling these youths to boycott the local elections.

These youths are generally Sahrawi educated people and executives that the Polisario considers part of its supporters inside the main Western Sahara cities, mainly Laayoune, Dakhla, and Smara. But the enthusiasm of these young people to submit their candidacy for the municipal and regional elections alarms the separatist front leaders

The Polisario and its mentor Algeria are so anxious because they realize that the Sahrawis’ massive participation in the elections means they feel they belong to Morocco and that they are part of the democratic process in the country. This massive participation also makes the Polisario and Algeria understand that their nurtured separatist project is doomed to failure, especially so, since the September 4 polls will also include the election of the regional councils.

Observers see the regional councils as a prelude to the implementation of the autonomy plan for Western Sahara. The election of the president and members of the regional Council directly by voters gives the voters a decision-making power.

The separatist front was relying mostly on youths to keep alive the flame of independence claims. But given the evident enthusiasm of these very youths for the poll to be held within 10 days, the Polisario leaders and Algerian officials are forced to face the facts: Their project to set up another State in the Maghreb region does not sell well.

The inhabitants of Western Sahara and also the international community have realized long time ago that the Polisario’s project was neither feasible nor viable.  The international community, knowing all the problems created by failed states, will never allow the setting up of a new hotbed of tension in a region already weakened by the surge of terrorist and separatist groups.