Low turnout expected in Morocco poll today


Morocco goes to the polls today to elect the 395 members of the House of Representatives.

There are 15,702,592 eligible voters voting at more than 40,000 polling stations between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time. They will be choosing from 1,410 lists from 27 parties and 6,692 candidates.

There are 92 multi-member constituencies accounting for 305 seats with the threshold set at 6% for representation and the remaining 90 seats are covered by one nationwide list where there is a 3% threshold.

The Islamist Justice and Development party (PJD), the royalist Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) and the centre-right Istiqlal Party are the only parties contesting in all 92 multi-member constituencies. The Moroccan Liberal party has decided to boycott the election.

In 2011 the PJD won 107 seats, the Istiqlal Party won 60 seats, the centre-right National Rally of Independents (RNI) won 52 seats and PAM won 47 seats. The Socialist Union of Popular Forces, (USFP) took 39 seats, the royalist Popular Movement (MP) won 32 seats, the centre-right Constitutional Union (UC) took 23 seats and the left-wing Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) took 18 seats. Ten smaller parties achieved some representation.

There is a general disillusionment with the political parties and turnout is expected to be low in this country where the King still dominates the political scene.

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