Almost 16 million Moroccan voters head to the polls Friday to elect a new legislature – the second such election to take place since the kingdom’s constitution came into force in 2011 following a national referendum.
Over the past few days, small shops all over Morocco have been plastered with party propaganda and voting information. Young men and women distributed flyers to passers-by and it was rare for a single night to pass before at least one party rally took place in a public area.
The parliamentary election is seen as a test of popularity for the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party.
The elections come five years after the Islamist-led government took office following protests inspired by the Arab Spring.
The government, which has implemented some unpopular policies faces stiff competition from secular opposition.
The Justice and Development Party and its allies have been praised for pushing an austerity programme that has helped overhaul public finances.
They say a second term will allow them to continue social reforms and tackle corruption.
The main opposition party, the Authenticity and Modernity Party, has vowed to oust PJD from power and revise many decisions made by the government.
Initial voting results are expected late Friday night.