MOROCCO, Electoral system

Regim nature

Morocco is a Constitutional Monarchy of divine right, the King is « commander of the believers »


The 1996 Constitution (the fifth) installed the system of bicameralism. It organises the separation of legislative, juridical and executive powers, though essential powers remains in the hands of the King.

Executive power

It is mainly held by the Palace (King and advisers), and by the government.

Legislative power

The Parliament is composed of two chambers :

1. Majlis al- uwab (House of Representatives)

The deputies are elected by universal voting on local lists with proportional system (295 seats) and national (30 seats). In 2002, the proportional system replaced the majority vote one.

  • Number of seats: 325
  • Term of legislature: 6 years
  • Required age for voting : 20
  • Required age for membership : 23
  • Last legislative elections : 27th September 2002
  • Next elections: legislative of Autumn 2007.

The elections: Until now, elections were controlled by the Administration. The ones of 2002 were very much more transparent.

More than two million of Moroccans living abroad were however excluded from voting

Polling: In 2002 a new polling system was adopted: proportional representation in the framework of larger circumscriptions.

The voters have a single ballot on which they mark the logo of the party they chose. This system was aimed to fight against trade of votes.

Political parties: For the elections of 2002, there are 26 parties with a total of 5.865 candidates in 91 circumscriptions.

Inscription on the electoral lists: 14 millions of Moroccans– half of the population- were inscribed on electoral lists to vote for the 325 seats of the House of representatives for a period of five years. Only 7.165.206 of them participated in the last elections (51%).

Presence of women in politics : Two deputies, elected in November 1997. Elected for the first time, four women entered the government in April 1998. In March 2000, for the first time a women was appointed Adviser to the King. Before the elections of 2002, the representativeness of women was nearly null. The uninominal system left them marginalized. In September 2002, a quota system was iadopted, reserving 30 seats (10% of the seats) for women (running in national lists)

2. Majlis al-Mustaharin (House of Councellors)

Composed by regional representatives (3/5) and represnetatives from the professional and syndicates associations (2/5). This Chamber is elected every three years, with the renewal of one third of the seats.

  • Number of seats: 270
  • Term of legislature: 9 years
  • Required age for voting: 30 years
  • Last elections: 5 December 1997