Hundreds of activists took to the streets of Morocco’s main cities late on Saturday to protest against corruption, the high cost of living and other causes of discontent.
Rights groups, trade unionists and the February 20 protest movement had called the demonstrations, amid frustration at the perceived failure of the Islamist-led government to make good on its electoral promises, AFP has reported.
In Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, nearly 1,000 people gathered, chanting anti-corruption slogans, denouncing the sharp rise in prices, and calling for the release of jailed activists.
Around 300 people also gathered near the main boulevard in the capital Rabat,, chanting slogans criticising Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane and King Mohammed VI, and waving anti-government banners, AFP reported.
Other demonstrations, were also reported in the central city of Marrakesh and the port city of Tangier, on Morocco’s north coast, witnesses said.
The ruling PJD party is blamed by activists for a surge in fuel prices that have driven up the cost of food and other basic goods, and also accuse the moderate Islamist party, whose leader Benkirane was appointed prime minister in January, of not fulfilling its campaign pledges to address social grievances and fight corruption.
Saturday’s demonstrations were however minimal compared to the numbers witnessed in May, when tens of thousands took to the streets to complain of unemployment and other social woes.