Observers say Moroccan election overall fair, though turnout low

Observers say Moroccan election overall fair, though turnout low

Voting in Morocco last week was largely free and fair, the country’s election observer body said Sunday, but it is investigating some cases of vote-buying and expressed concern about low turnout.

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.

The elections come five years after the Islamist-led government took office following protests inspired by the Arab Spring.

The moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development won the legislative election, beating out a party with close ties to the royal palace after an unusually hostile campaign.

The PJD, which has led a coalition government since it first won elections in 2011 on a wave of Arab Spring protests, is now working on building a new coalition with rival parties.

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