Capital: Rabat – large cities: Casablanca 3.245 million; RABAT (capital) 1.77 million; Fes 1.044 million; Marrakech 909,000; Tangier 768,000 (2009)
Population: 32,309,239 (July 2012 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), Berber languages (Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit), French (often the language of business, government, and diplomacy)
People Groups: Arab-Berber 99%, other 1%
Religion: Muslim 99% (official), Christian 1%, Jewish about 6,000
Living Conditions: infant mortality: 26.49 deaths/1,000 live births, life expectancy: 76.11 years, Literacy: total population: 56.1% The Moroccan economy is generally diverse but very fragile. About 40% of Moroccans cannot read or write, and the country has high levels of extreme poverty and health care deprivation. Morocco also has a high level of economic inequality. The unemployment rates under the highly educated as well as the unskilled are very high and cause consistent social unrest in many cities and villages.
Government: constitutional monarchy
Executive chief of state: King MOHAMMED VI (since 30 July 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Abdelilah BENKIRANE (since 29 November 2011)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
note:: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch following legislative elections
Legislative: bicameral Parliament consists of the Chamber of Counselors (or upper house) (270 seats – to be reduced to a maximum of 120; members elected indirectly by local councils, professional organizations, and labor syndicates to serve nine-year terms; one-third of the members are elected every three years) and Chamber of Representatives (or lower house) (395 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Judicial: Supreme Court (judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, presided over by the monarch)
The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, including the power to dissolve the parliament. Executive power is exercised by the government but the king’s decisions usually override those of the government if there is a contradiction. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The king can also issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. The latest Parliamentary elections were held on November 25, 2011, and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and fair. Voter turnout in these elections was estimated to be 43% of registered voters.
History: France took an interest in Morocco in 1840 and it was recognized as being in the French sphere of influence in 1904. Under the French protectorate, Moroccan natives were denied their basic human rights such as freedom of speech, the right of gathering and travel in their own country. French settlers built for themselves modern European-like cities called “villages” or “villes” (French for “city”) next to poor old Arab cities called “Medinas”. The French colonial system forbade native Moroccans from living, working, and traveling into the French quarters. The French education system taught a minority of noble native Moroccan families about French history, art and culture, while disregarding their native language and culture. Colonial authorities exerted tighter control on religious schools and universities, namely “madrassas” and Quaraouaine university. The rise of a young Moroccan intellectual class gave birth to nationalist movements whose main goals were to restore the governance of the country to its own people. Independence was gained in 1956. Political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature in 1997. Morocco was granted Major non-NATO ally status by the United States in June 2004 and has signed free trade agreements with the United States and the European Union.Morocco has always been known for its Islamicliberalism and openness towards the Western world. King Mohammed VI of Morocco with his ruling elite are democratically-minded, showing tolerance within the limits of territorial integrity and traditional laws and customs
- The small Jewish community will open to the gospel and provide an entry for CPM.
- For continuing openness to the West and moderation in the Islamic community.
- The protection of the Christian community.