With Islamist on the doorstep to power in Tunisia, it is now Morocco’s turn to go to the polls in elections that despite the low turnout expected, will likely bring religion closer to government. But unlike votes in Tunisia and Egypt, which served as climatic final acts in revolutions that surprised the world, the November 25 polling day in Morocco is likely to be a subdued affair.
Last summer, spurred into action as autocrats fell across the Arab world, the king of Morocco Mohammed VI hastily called a referendum asking Moroccans to decide on a new political system that would see the monarch ceding prerogatives. In the July vote, more than 98 percent of Moroccans approved the political reforms and a call for early legislative elections quickly followed.
Moroccans leaders “made the gamble of early elections to absorb anger and the constant pressure from the street,” political analyst Mohmad Madani said. All summer, thousands of people gathered across the country for rallies called by the youth-based February 20 movement demanding more sweeping reforms of the Arab world’s oldest reigning monarchy.