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.