Morocco. Tens of thousands of protesters in Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier and other cities demanded increased power for the Prime Minister and reduced corruption in the spring. Gentle protests against the concentration of power around King Muhammad VI were also heard, but the monarchy was not really questioned. Police dissolved many of the demonstrations and arrested a large number of protesters. Five people were killed during the first demonstration day, February 20, when a bank was set on fire in the town of Hoceima. It also happened that activists in the so-called February 20 movement, most young and liberal, clashed with Islamists.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||298,600,000,000 USD|
|GDP growth rate||4.10%|
|GDP per capita||$ 8,600|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||15%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||1.60%|
|Investment volume||31.8% of GDP|
|National debt||65.10% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 22,970,000,000|
According to Countryaah official site, the king responded with some concessions. In a referendum on a new constitution on July 1, 98.5% of voters agreed to constitutional amendments that gave Parliament greater power at the expense of the king. Among other things, the king must appoint the leader of parliament’s largest party as prime minister and the king would no longer be “holy” but merely “invulnerable”. The judiciary would also become more independent. The king urged the people to vote yes, but the February 20 movement meant that the reforms left most of the power untouched in the hands of the royal house and establishment and therefore called for a boycott.
In the elections to Parliament’s House of Commons on November 25, the Islamist PJD (Justice and Development Party) was the largest with 107 out of 325 seats. The party is a moderate sister party to the Turkish government party. The second largest became nationalist Istiqlal, the largest in the former coalition government. Many residents showed their dissatisfaction with the limited reforms by boycotting the election – turnout was 45.4%. In accordance with the reformed constitution, on November 29, the king appointed PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane as new prime minister. He belonged to a faction within the party who was loyal to the royal house.
Seventeen people were killed, including eight Frenchmen, and about twenty were injured when an explosive charge exploded in a crowded cafe at Djemma el-Fna square in Marrakech, April 28. Eight men were arrested on suspicion of the act and brought to trial.
In December, the European Parliament decided not to extend the fisheries agreement with Morocco.