As voting continues in the Moroccan referendum on constitutional reform the worries are that the turnout will not be high enough to make the result the ringing endorsement of change King Mohammed VI is looking for.
He hopes to forestall any ‘Arab Spring’ unrest and preserve his dynasty by giving up many of his powers. Critics say the reforms do not go far enough. Supporters say it is a new dawn.
“Tomorrow Morocco will join the big boys, the democratic nations, after having chosen to become democratic constitutional monarchy,” said Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah, the President of the Assembly of Councillors.
One poll of nearly 44,000 people concluded 53 percent of 13 million registered voters will boycott the referendum. Another criticism is that the two weeks between announcement and vote is not enough time for Moroccans, almost half of whom are illiterate, to study the changes.
It seems that it is among the poor that faith is strongest that their beloved King is on the right track, and that their lives are about to change for the better. If they are disappointed, the backlash could be severe.
No rush to vote in Moroccan referendum