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Vol 38 No 14

Published 4th July 1997

Polls at a price

Elections are managed in the Maghreb to keep out Islamists and tempt investors

Morocco's local elections on 13 June set out the conditions for co-existence by the government and political parties. This followed February's 'gentlemen's agreement' between Interior Minister Driss Basri and party leaders. The opposition Koutla grouping emerged as the largest bloc, with 34 per cent of the vote. The right-wing Wifaq got 28 per cent, the centre 26 per cent. Most observers agreed that, for the first time, the administration did not directly fix the ballot in favour of loyalist parties. A pattern has been set for the general elections in September or early October.

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