Morocco's national election under way

Nov. 25, 2011 at 7:51 AM
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RABAT, Morocco, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Polls opened Friday in Morocco to elect 395 members of parliament amid concerns voter turnout would be low, political analysts said.

It's the first national election since King Mohammed VI revamped the constitution giving parliament more authority under his absolute rule, The New York Times reported.

Some 13 million people are eligible to vote for 5,873 candidates from 33 parties.

That makes it unlikely a single party will win a majority, Mohamad Darif, a political analyst at the Hassan II University in Casablanca, told the Times.

In any case, the king will choose the prime minister from whichever party has the greatest number of seats regardless of whether it has an overall majority.

The Times said in interviews with people throughout the country, it found widespread frustration, suspicion and detachment from the parliamentary system, similar to the run-up to the last election in 2007, when only 37 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

Results were expected to be announced Saturday, officials said.

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