Thousands of Moroccans call for election boycott

November 20, 2011 20:43

TANGIER - Thousands of Moroccans protested in cities across the country on Sunday calling for a boycott of a parliamentary election later this week, which they say will not be truly democratic.

The Nov. 25 vote is a test of reforms made by Morocco's ruler, King Mohammed, to try to defuse pressure for change in the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty in the wake of uprisings this year across the Middle East.

A Reuters reporter in the city of Tangier, across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, said about 10,000 protesters had gathered in a square in the working class Beni Mkada district.

A witness in Casablanca, Morocco's commercial hub, said at least 6,000 people had turned up for a parallel protest, despite heavy rain. Two western diplomats and a resident in the capital, Rabat, put the turnout for a protest there at about 3,000 people.

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