Morocco: First local elections held under King Mohammed
Moroccan electors are heading Friday to polling stations to choose 23,689 councilors among 112,658 candidates, in the first local elections held under the reign of King Mohammed VI who ascended to the throne in July 1999.
In addition to lowering the voter age from 21 to 18, the other change marking these elections is the adoption of two polling systems, depending on the communes' size: in communes with less than 25,000 inhabitants, councilors will be elected at the single-round uninominal system with the relative majority, while the list polling at the proportional representation was picked for the election of councilors whose inhabitants exceed 25,000 inhabitants.
According to MAP, out of 112,658 vying candidates, 33% have a secondary education level, while 49% have not gone beyond college and only 18% have attended university.
Most of candidates (22.61%) are wage-earners, farmers account for 17.87%, while craftsmen represent 11.67%, tradesmen (10,41%), teachers (8.23%), civil servants (6.82%) and students 3.59%.
Women candidates stand at an unexpected low rate of 5% of all candidates submitted by the 26 political parties, at a time, observers believed that the election of 35 women to the House of Representatives would incite more women to run for the elections.
Morocco's oldest political parties, the Istiqlal party (PI) and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) are the ones that ensure the widest coverage of constituencies with candidates running in almost all the constituencies. A total of 26 parties have submitted candidates. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)