Foreign Policy Blogs

Les Marocains are Getting Out The Vote

Les Marocains are Getting Out The VoteSo, next Friday, Morocco will be the first country in the region to hold parliamentary elections since the Arab Spring. (Tunisia’s recent election, an Islamist-strong assembly was chosen to write the new constitution. Egypt will hold parliamentary elections on Monday, November 28 to choose members of both its legislative chambers.) Morocco hasn’t received as much attention as its neighbors, in large part, because the demonstrations were largely positive, the Constitutional reform process was swift (less than 5 months) and, most importantly, there was no regime change.

There will be at least three big questions on next Saturday morning 1) What was the turnout? (Some of my contacts on the ground in Morocco report a lower level than expected of enthusiasm, which doesn’t bode well for the final voter turnout.) 2) Was it peaceful, free and fair? (Morocco has a history of free and fair elections and more than 4,000 US, Moroccan and international observers are going to be on the ground, so this looks to be a yes.) 3) Did the Islamist party win a large number of seats in the new Parliament? (I’ve heard rumors all over the place on this one.)

An additional question that I have (and maybe I’m the only one) is “What will be the US response to the elections, particularly if the Islamists win?” In any case, the US should support Morocco’s efforts more publically because it’s clearly a stand-out in a region that is in turmoil.

There’s a lot of good info here on the upcoming elections. More to come, inshallah.



Calvin Dark

Calvin Dark is an international policy and strategic communications professional based in Washington, DC. For more than 10 years, he has advised US and international bodies and organizations, primarily focusing on political, economic and cultural relations with Latin America, Western Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. Calvin is also a social media enthusiast trying to connect the world one tweet, post and #hashtag at a time.

Calvin was a Fulbright Scholar to Morocco where he conducted research on civil society’s role in increasing transparency and public confidence in Morocco’s government institutions and services. Calvin received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from Duke University and has studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Paris, France. He speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and English (North Carolina’s special dialect.)

Calvin is also passionate about Southern storytelling and oral histories and is the author of Tales From My Dark Side [], a collection of stories about the Darks, a central North Carolina family and their unique ways of reconciling the complex notions of race, community and family.

Anything else? Oh yea, he loves to spin and is a spin instructor.

Contact Calvin at [email protected]