BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 12:11 GMT
Morocco lowers voting age
Voting in Morocco
Many young Moroccans are not interested in politics
King Mohammed VI of Morocco has announced that the voting age will be lowered from 20 to 18.

This is being seen an attempt to interest the younger generation in politics and thwart the rise of radical Islamist groups.

Politicians in Morocco are now coveting the youth

Khalid Jamai
Political analyst
September's parliamentary elections saw a record low turnout of just 52% and the rise of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD).

The PJD gained 42 seats to become the third largest party in parliament but it was left out of the new coalition government.

The king is seen as being more open to reform that his father, Hassan II, who died in 1999.

Earlier this year, his marriage to a computer engineer was announced publicly, in contrast to the usual secrecy surrounding royal weddings.

Challenge

King Mohammed took the decision to allow "the Moroccan youth to overwhelmingly join our project of a modern, democratic society", the official MAP news agency said.

King Mohammed VI
The King is seen as being reform-minded

Political analyst Khalid Jamai said "Politicians in Morocco are now coveting the youth. This is a crucial challenge for traditional political parties".

Lowering the voting age has long been a demand of Moroccan left-wing parties and campaign groups.

The coalition government is made up of the Socialist Union of Forces for Progress and the nationalist Istiqlal Party.

But power remains mostly in the hands of the King.

Municipal elections are scheduled for June 2003.

See also:

08 Nov 02 | Africa
30 Sep 02 | Africa
09 Nov 02 | Country profiles
09 Nov 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes