NDI says Morocco election was “fair, transparent,” signals citizen interest in “further, deeper reform”

National Democratic Institute (Rabat, Nov. 26, 2011) — Morocco’s Nov. 25 parliamentary elections – the first since popular protests earlier this year prompted a reform process and revisions to the country’s constitution – were conducted transparently, according to an international observation mission organized by NDI.  “From a technical point of view, it was a fair election,” NDI reported.  The Institute noted that lack of voter enthusiasm, calls for an election day boycott, and the significant number of invalid and spoiled ballots collectively “signal citizen interest in further and deeper reform.” Yet on election day, the statement notes, “many citizens showed that they have not yet given up on the electoral process as a means of forging change.” To capitalize on the opportunity that still remains, “Morocco’s new government will need to carry progress in the right direction.”

NDI observers found that electoral authorities administered a technically sound voting process that – while not without flaws –  allowed voters to cast their ballots without fear of tampering or procedural violations on election day. “The professionalism and neutrality that the polling officials displayed are a good step forward for the evolution of Morocco’s democracy,” noted Shelton-Colby.   The delegation also recognized revisions to Morocco’s constitution that promote gender parity in decision-making bodies, which sets a strong example for the region.  Al Derazi noted that Moroccan women “cast their votes with spirit” and that “they want to contribute to the development of their country’s democratic process.” “This is an encouraging sign and we hope that women in other Arab countries will follow suit,” he said. [Continue Reading... ]

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