Protests set after Moroccan king wins vote landslide

July 2, 2011 17:42

RABAT - Morocco's "Arab Spring" protesters vowed on Saturday to pursue demonstrations after King Mohammed scored an avalanche referendum victory on constitutional changes they say do nothing to ease his tight grip on power.

Preliminary results of Friday's poll showed 98.5 percent of voters approved the text on turnout official estimated at 73 percent. Opposition said the turnout figure looked inflated and alleged irregularities in voting procedures.

The charter explicitly grants executive powers to the government but retains the king at the helm of the cabinet, army, religious authorities and the judiciary.

The result followed a state media campaign in favor of the 'yes' vote that appealed to a widespread sense of loyalty to the head of the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty. It will be studied by Gulf monarchies who have so far dodged reform calls.

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