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Voter Turnout is Healthy in Morocco - People Want Democracy, Reforms, Stronger Economy

Rabat, Morocco .... Among 32 parties competing for seats in the 395-member Chamber of Representatives is Morocco Prime Minister Abbas el-Fassi’s Istiqlal, which won the last election in 2007 and has participated in every Moroccan government since independence was secured in 1956 with the end of French and Spanish protectorates. The party says that maintaining economic growth of about 5 percent and inflation of about 2 percent are among its chief aims.

The Justice and Development Party, or PJD, which came second in 2007, is also seeking seats. The Islamist group led by Abdelilah Benkirane pledges to create about 240,000 jobs and ban the media from “objectifying” women’s bodies. Like the other major parties, it is nationalist and pro-monarchy. Also on the ballot is the newly created Alliance for Democracy, a bloc of eight parties led by Finance Minister Salah Eddine Mezouar that has vowed to cut corporate taxes to 25 percent from 30 percent.

Morocco’s sound macroeconomic policies, put in place over the past decade by King Mohammed IV, and political reforms mean it is well placed to respond to any unrest, the International Monetary Fund said in July. Inflation is under control, credit continues to grow, and non-agricultural gross domestic product may reach 6 percent this year, the IMF said.

Polling stations are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.


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