Morocco is formally a constitutional
monarchy, but the elected parliament cannot seriously
challenge the king's influence. The Constitution does
not limit the power of the monarch to any great extent.
A new constitution was adopted in July 2011 in
response to major demonstrations which then shook
Morocco and the Middle East. The new constitution did
not mean a decisive change in the democratic direction,
but strengthened Parliament's position somewhat. For
example, the king now has to appoint a prime minister
from the largest party in parliament, which previously
was not the case. The Constitution also emphasizes
respect for human rights and states that gender equality
Total population and chart of Morocco for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The real power remains with the king who still
appoints many ministers as well as state secretaries,
governors, heads of government and state corporations as
well as judges. Having a direct connection to the royal
family is almost always a more reliable source of power
than a high post in the state - the former also often
leads to the latter.
Male succession is applied within the Alaouite
lineage that has ruled Morocco since the 17th century.
King Mohammed VI took office in 1999. The king is
considered to be descended from the Prophet Mohammed and
bears the old religious title amir al-mu'minin, "the
ruler of the faithful". The Constitution describes his
person as "inviolable" and it is illegal to criticize
him or his decision. He is commander-in-chief, heads the
National Security Council, assigns military posts and is
responsible for approving international treaties and
agreements. The king can dismiss ministers he is not
happy with after consulting with the prime minister. The
king also personally directs the government when it
decides on matters of great importance and can also rule
through personal decrees, dissolve parliament, issue
amnesties and call for emergency permits.
Parliament has two chambers. The House of
Representatives has 395 members who are elected
proportionally in direct general elections every five
years. Sixty places are reserved for women and 30 for
men under the age of 40. A party must receive at least 6
percent of the vote in order to be represented in the
House. The voting age is 18 years. Following the
constitutional changes in 2011, the Advisory
Chamber has between 90 and 120 members, elected
for six years by representatives of various
municipalities, chambers of commerce and trade unions.
Morocco has been divided into twelve regions since
2015. In the same year, elections were held for the
first time for elected parliaments at regional level.
One region is entirely in Western Sahara and two partly
cover the disputed territory (see Western Sahara). The
regions are divided into 75 prefectures and provinces,
which in turn are divided into districts and
municipalities with elected councils.
Since Mohammed VI took office, the elections have
become more credible than under the representative
Hassan II, when electoral fraud was common, but the
royal house can still control the parliament with the
help of regime-supported "palace parties".
Parties based on religion, ethnicity or linguistic
and regional roots are prohibited by a law of 2005.
Morocco's probably largest opposition movement, Islamic
Justice and mercy (al-Adl
wal-Ihsan, sometimes called Justice and
Spirituality), is not allowed to stand in
elections but tolerated by the government. The movement
has gained wide popularity as a social welfare
organization. Founder Abdessalam Yassine (see Modern
History), seen as the regime's most feared critic,
passed away in 2012.
The Justice and Development Party (PJD)
is the most important Islamist party. It is
ideologically close to the international movement of the
Muslim Brotherhood. The party was formed in 1997, but
was kept away from the government for a long time. The
party toned down its already fairly cautious opposition
rhetoric when Abdelilah Benkirane was elected party
leader in 2008. In the 2011 election, PJD won big and
Benkirane became prime minister.
For many years - despite the lack of democratic
elections - the Socialist Union of the People's
Forces (Union Socialiste des Forces populaires,
USFP) and the Independence
Party (Istiqlal)) the role of
leading opposition parties. The USFP is almost
social-democratic and Istiqlal conservative nationalist
with roots in the independence movement. Under Mohammed
VI, both parties have approached the royal house and led
each government together with regime-friendly parties.
The same applies to the ex-Communist Party for
Progress and Socialism (Party of
Progress and Socialism, PPS),
which has participated in several governments since
In addition, there are several so-called "palace
parties" or "administrative parties" created with the
support of the monarchy to dominate Parliament. They are
unbelievably loyal to the royal house and rarely have a
clear ideological profile. These parties include the
central collection of the Independent National
Collection (Rassemblement National des
Indépendents, RNI), The Popular
Movement (Mouvement Populaire, MP),
a liberal / conservative party with roots in the Berber
countryside and the Constitutional Union
(Union Constitutionelle, UC), which is
vague in liberal terms. All these parties were formed
during Hassan II, but in 2008 the first "palace party"
came under Mohammed VI. Then the Party for
Authenticity and Modernity (Parti Authenticité
et Modernité, PAM) was created by
bringing together several small parties and
Since 2011, it is forbidden for sitting
parliamentarians to change parties, which was previously
Western Saharan human rights activist arrested
Aminatou Haidar is expelled after specifying Western Sahara as his homeland
in a form at the airport. Following pressure from, among other things, the US,
she was allowed to return to El Aaiún after a hunger strike at the airport in
Lanzarote, where she was deported.
Judgments against journalists
The publisher and a joking cartoonist in the newspaper Akhbar al-Youm are
sentenced to three years' conditional imprisonment and damages of the equivalent
of over SEK 2 million, for having shown in a drawing "a lack of respect for a
member of the royal family". Later, an editor and a reporter at al-Massae, the
country's largest daily newspaper, are sentenced to three and two months'
imprisonment for having "published false information".
Swedish diplomat expelled
The diplomat has handed Moroccan and international press clips to the
arrested Brahim Dahane's organization. Sweden protests against the expulsion.
Western Saharan human rights activist arrested
Brahim Dahane is arrested along with several other Saharans following a
solidarity visit to the Western Saharan refugee camps in Algeria. In doing so,
he is prevented from traveling to Sweden to receive an award from the Living
New President in the upper house
PAM's newly elected Secretary-General Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah is appointed
Speaker of the Advisory Chamber.
New party largest in local elections
The Royal Party for Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), formed in 2008,
receives almost 22 percent of the vote. The Islamic Justice and Development
Party (PJD) backs from 13 percent in 2003 to just under 6 percent. The decline
is believed to be partly due to changed constituency boundaries.
Morocco breaks with Iran
Relations are broken after an Iranian politician hinted that Bahrain should
belong to Iran. The purpose is believed to be partly to gain support from Iran's
rivals Saudi Arabia and the United States. Relations are only restored at the
end of 2014.