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      Moroccan Protesters Call to Boycott Elections

      Thousands of people gathered in Casablanca, where they demonstrated against the government and threatened to boycott the upcoming elections.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 9/26/2011, 8:25 AM

      Thousands of people gathered in Morocco’s largest city on Sunday, where they demonstrated against the government and threatened to boycott the upcoming elections.

      The Associated Press reported that the weekly demonstration by the pro-democracy February 20 movement attracted around 10,000 people in Casablanca, making it the largest demonstration in months.

      The march took place in the lower income neighborhood of Sbata, said AP, where in May pro-democracy demonstrators were attacked and beaten by police.

      The marchers reportedly chanted, “Once we were beaten here, now we have returned.” They shouted for greater freedoms and an end to government corruption.

      Morocco was swept with popular protests calling for reform early in the year, inspired by the Arab Spring. King Mohammed VI later announced that his country will revise its constitution for the first time in 15 years. This caused the protests to die down.

      Last week, however, the protests were renewed and at least 3,000 people marched through the streets of Casablanca.

      King Mohammed’s new constitution was passed in July and parliamentary elections are to be held in two months, but the protesters have denounced both.

      According to AP, during Sunday’s demonstration, one protest leader chanted: “Will you vote?” to which the demonstrators responded with: “No!”

      Meanwhile, about 2,000 people marched in the capital Rabat, from a lower income neighborhood to downtown and the parliament. They did not, however, call for boycotting the elections.