Voting in Morocco last week was largely free and fair, the country’s election observer body said Sunday, but it is investigating some cases of vote-buying and expressed concern about low turnout. The moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development won Friday’s legislative election, beating out a party with close ties to the royal palace after an unusually hostile campaign. The PJD, which has led a coalition government since it first won elections in 2011 on a wave of Arab Spring protests, is now working on building a new coalition with rival parties. The Interior Ministry said the PJD won 125 of the 395 seats in the Chamber of Representatives, while the Party of Authenticity and Modernity, founded by an adviser to the king, came second with 102 seats.
The National Council of Human Rights, which oversees election monitoring, released a preliminary report Sunday noting sporadic irregularities. They included 37 cases of vote buying by people distributing bags of wheat or up to 500 dirhams ($51) in cash.
Abderrazak El Hanouchi, chief of staff to the council’s president, would not divulge the names of the parties involved, saying that would be released later in a full report.
Such cases appeared rare. Council president Driss El Yazami told reporters the elections took place in a “serene and transparent climate.”
Full Article: Observers: Moroccan election overall fair, but turnout low.