Morocco's voters went to the polls on friday (12 November) in the first of three elections designed to restore democracy to the country.
SV Moroccan flags
CU Newspaper headlines (2 shots)
SVs People queueing outside polling station (2 shots)
SVs INTERIOR People receiving voting papers and voting (5 shots)
SV EXT Another polling station with people queueing
SVs INT People voting (4 shots)
The major parties have boycotted previous elections on the grounds that the vote would be rigged. King Hassan set up a special commission on which the parties involved were represented, to supervise the poll. but party leaders in Rabat had begun disputing the accuracy of the returns even before complete results were available.
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Background: Morocco's voters went to the polls on friday (12 November) in the first of three elections designed to restore democracy to the country.
SYNOPSIS: Voters had to choose more than 13,000 local government councillors from about 43,000 candidates in Morocco's first multi-party election in more than a decade. About half the candidates represented seven political parties, with the rest independents mostly supporting Morocco's ruler King Hassan.
Since the last parliament was dissolved after an abortive military coup in 1971, King Hassan has ruled by decree with a government com posed of independents. The local government elections has a bearing on the composition of the next parliament as councillors will elect one-third of the members of parliament.
Voting results have shown the independents winning just over half the seats, with the major political parties losing considerable ground to the independents. It's understood the independents may form a new Royalist party to contest the expected parliamentary elections next year. The remainder of the seats were divided between the other parties, with the largest share going to the Istiqlal Party with about 13 per cent, or more than 1,700 seats.