King Mohammed VI of Morocco’s revolutionary constitution has passed its first test, turnout of 60 percent validating the outcome.
The count is underway, and the result is expected this Saturday.
One poll had suggested over 50 percent of the 13 million registered voters would boycott the referendum on abolishing absolute rule.
Critics said it was a rush job reform with voters, half of whom are illiterate in Morocco, and given only two weeks to scrutinise the changes before being asked to make a choice.
They add that, as the King retains the job of Defence minister is he really giving up power at all? Mohamed VI also retains control over the religious authorities.
The youth-based February 20 movement doesn’t think it goes far enough, and has demonstrated against the reforms. The changes in theory give executive power to parliament, and although the King names the prime minister, he must come from the largest party emerging from an election.
Polls suggested the poor will back the reforms, as they appear to believe their King will not let them down.