Partial results indicate that Justice and Development Party is poised to win the election for the first time.
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2011 00:56
Cherkaoui told a press conference on Saturday that PJD had won 80 seats from 288 seats announced out of the 395 up for grabs in the nationwide vote.
That is nearly double the 45 seats won by Prime Minister Abbas el Fassi's Independence Party which finished second and has headed a five-party coalition government since 2007.
Cherkaoui, whose ministry organised the election, said that complete results, including those of 90 seats reserved for women and youth and the 23 remaining regular seats, will be announced on Sunday
The PJD is expected to ultimately win up to 110 seats.
"We thank the Moroccans who voted for the PJD and we can only be satisfied," PJD secretary general Abdelilah Benkirane told reporters.
Under new rules introduced earlier this year as part of a package of constitutional reforms backed by the king, the prime minister will be drawn from the biggest party in parliament.
The PJD' biggest rivals in Morocco's elections is a coalition of eight pro-government parties led by Finance Minister Salaheddine Mezouar, which has amassed more than 111 seats, but under the new constitution the party with the most seats gets first crack at forming a new government.
The PJD must now find coalition partners, with their natural allies being the "Democratic Bloc," an alliance of the right-of-centre Istiqlal, or Independence Party, the left-of-centre Union of Socialist Progressive Forces and the former communist party, venerable political parties that have been eclipsed by Mezouar's so-called Group of Eight.
Benkirane acknowledged his party would have to tailor its programme to appease prospective coalition partners. The PJD was "open to everyone" when it comes to forming alliances, he said.
"The nub of our programme and of those who will govern with us will have a double axis, democracy and good governance," Benkirane told the France 24 television channel.
PJD plans to push for a tax reform to "spare the state additional borrowings", said Lahcen Daoudi, PJD's deputy leader.
"We want value-added-tax on luxury products, we want to reform the income tax system and introduce taxes on owners of unoccupied property. It should help us boost consumption and create more jobs."