Thousands of pro-democracy activists demonstrated in Morocco’s largest city calling for a boycott of parliamentary elections less than two weeks away. The demonstrations comes as a parliamentary delegation from the Council of Europe noted there was little enthusiasm in the country just two weeks before the election and said there was worry about the level of participation.
“I’m boycotting, how about you?” said stickers carried by many of the activists as they marched through a working class district in Casablanca. Morocco’s parliamentary elections will be held early as part of a government-initiated reform process in the North African kingdom, which is a close U.S. ally.
In response to pro-democracy demonstrations, part of a wave of uprisings that swept the Middle East earlier this year, the king amended the constitution to give up some of his powers and moved elections to Nov. 25. The pro-democracy February 20 movement which organized the demonstrations, however, has dismissed the king’s reforms and the upcoming elections as more of the same “facade democracy” that they say has long been practiced in the kingdom.