Thursday, March 05, 2015

Call for Foreigners to Vote in Morocco's Local Elections

On Wednesday Morocco's National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) issued a series of recommendations which included allowing foreigners to vote for the first time in local elections

According to a memo which lists a series of 45 recommendations, the CNDH called for "expanding the electorate" to include "all foreigners legally resident in Morocco for a period of not less than five years."

Morocco officially estimates that there are about 80,000 French, 2,000 Spanish and 18,000 sub-Saharan Africa citizens many of whom had their status regularised during a special campaign launched in 2014.

Morocco's new Constitution, adopted by referendum in 2011, opens the way for foreigners to vote in local elections subject to signing of reciprocal agreements with their countries of origin. The CNDH also recommended the government to work for the strengthening "Women's access to elective mechanisms" at local and regional level, particularly through an increase in the "number of seats reserved for women."

People with disabilities or reduced mobility should also benefit from "easy access" to the polls and "electoral audiovisual material" should be available in sign language.

Local and regional elections are scheduled from 4 September, a prelude to the national elections the following year.

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