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Moroccans vote on constitutional change

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Moroccans vote on constitutional change


Over 13 million Moroccans are expected to go to the polls today to vote on a new draft constitution laid out by King Mohammed VI.

The King will retain command of the armed forces, the judiciary, religious authorities and will name the prime minister who would take over as head of the government.

The new constitution has been backed by the country’s main political party, religious leaders and welcomed by the European Union, which believes it signals a way to democracy.

But protesters say the draft does not go far enough, as it retains a core royal cabinet headed by the King.

An online poll suggested over 50 percent of the electorate would boycott the referendum. The vast bulk of the rest will vote in favour but such a low turnout would raise questions over the credibility of the exercise.

Tens of thousands have protested since the King unveiled the proposals in June.

People have only had two weeks to prepare for the vote since the constitution was drafted.

The highest turnout is expected from the poorest areas, where many appear to believe the reforms will make a real change to their lives.

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