World

Arab uprising: Country by country - Morocco

What happened?

Map of Morocco

Protests erupted in February 2011, with people taking to the streets of Rabat and Casablanca to demand King Mohammed VI give up some of his wide-ranging powers.

The king quickly offered "comprehensive constitutional reform". In June 2011, he accepted changes proposed by a commission, including giving up his divine rights as sovereign and forcing him to nominate a prime minister from the largest party in parliament.

Although the constitutional amendments were rejected by the youth-led February 20 Movement, which wanted a full constitutional monarchy, they were approved in a referendum the next month.

In November 2011, moderate Islamists from the Justice and Development Party (PJD) won the most seats in elections for the House of Representatives. Its leader, Abdelilah Benkirane, formed a coalition government that took office in January 2012.

Where are we now?

Despite losing some powers, the king retains ultimate authority; remains head of the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Security Council and the Ulama Council; and controls the military, police and intelligence services. When a party pulled out of the government in October 2013, he placed allies in the interior, finance and foreign ministries.

Mr Benkirane has also struggled to deal with Morocco's severe economic problems, including low wages, high youth unemployment and a mounting budget deficit. There have been protests against cuts to fuel and food subsidies advocated by the IMF.