Moroccans head to polls to elect new parliament
Moroccans began heading to the polls on Friday to elect members of the country’s parliament.
Some 15.7 million Moroccans are registered to vote in Friday’s election, which will see 30 political parties vie for seats in Morocco’s 395-seat legislative assembly.
The Moroccan Liberal Party has decided to boycott the vote, as has the Marxist Democratic Way Party (as it has since its establishment in 1995).
The elections will see strong participation by the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Justice and Development Party, which won a majority in Moroccan municipal polls in September of last year.
Some 7,000 candidates are taking part in Friday’s election, which is Morocco’s 10th legislative poll since the country won independence from France in 1956.
Moroccan elections in 2011, which coincided with that year’s spate of "Arab Spring" uprisings, saw voter turnout of 45 percent, while polls held in 2007 saw a 37-percent turnout rate -- the lowest ever in the country’s history.
Preliminary election results are expected to be announced late Saturday by Morocco’s Interior Ministry.