Morocco went to the polls last week with a strong turnout for local and regional elections:
Morocco’s Islamist party dominated this North African kingdom’s urban areas in local elections, but trailed in total seats behind two parties with strong backing in the countryside, according to final results announced Saturday.
The elections were seen as an important test of the popularity of the Islamist-led government which came to power after the pro-democracy demonstrations of the 2011 Arab Spring and face new parliamentary elections next year.
The local and regional councils manage municipal affairs in conjunction with state-appointed officials and are being strengthened under a new government policy of regionalization.
Some 30,000 local council seats and 700 regional council seats were contested by more than 140,000 candidates from at least 30 parties. The ministry reported a turnout of 53 percent…[FULL STORY]