Thousands of Moroccans from the pro-democracy movement made a final call Sunday to boycott upcoming elections with protests across the country. At least 3,000 people marched through the capital Rabat and another 4,000 chanted demonstrated in Casablanca, the country’s largest city. Demonstrations took place in other cities across the country as well.
Anti-government protesters hold Moroccan national flag, left, and the 20th February movement flag in red black and white during a rally organized by the 20th February, the Moroccan Arab Spring movement in Casablanca, Morocco, Sunday, Nov 20, 2011, in a mass popular call to bring more democracy into this North African kingdom. Some thousands of Moroccans from the pro-democracy movement braved pouring rain and high winds in Casablanca to make a final call to boycott upcoming elections.
“Long live the Tunisian, Egyptian, Syrian and Libyan revolutions, now we want a Moroccan one,” said one banner carried by protesters in Casablanca. Protesters also chanted the slogan heard all around the region during the Arab Spring: “The people want the downfall of the regime.”
Under pressure from pro-democracy demonstrations that swept Morocco, along with the other countries in the Middle East, the king modified the constitution and brought forward parliamentary elections by a year. Activists, however, maintain that the fundamental political structures of a corrupt system that keeps all power in the hands of the king hasn’t changed, so the new elections are pointless.