Rabat, Morocco - Voting in Morocco's legislative elections, which is under way on Friday, has been marked by low voter turnout despite widespread awareness campaigns educating citizens on the importance of voting.

Moroccan interior ministry said only 10 percent of the registered voters have turned out to cast their ballot so far.

In some areas, turnout was as low as seven percent and did not exceed 23 percent at best.

The phenomenon is widely considered as a message of disappointment to political parties, which remain unable to motivate the citizens, especially the country's youth.

Many citizens have expressed their resentments to Al Jazeera on the poor performance of the previous governments and the country’s politicians, who remain unable to touch on the citizens' daily problems.

Al Jazeera visited a polling centre at Al Massira Avenue in Yaacoub El Mansour district in the capital Rabat, where the voting process was progressing smoothly.

First to vote

Mohamed Belayachi, 65, a truck driver, was among the first to vote in the early hours.

"I voted today on PJD (the Islamic Justice and Development Party) because I believe in the work they have done and that they have shown enough effort and change. I don't think that other parties may have better solutions."

Majda Lakhal, 21, a student, decided to cast a blank vote.

"I did vote today but I haven't chosen any party. I have read their programmes and their promises but they didn't seem to be convincing enough to me. We could clearly see redundancy in what they were saying."

 

Al Jazeera also talked to Mohamed Yassir Taki, 27, a geologist who boycotted the elections.

"I voted before but I wasn't convinced with the government's work, so I decided to boycott this year.
Many following the elections agree that Moroccan political parties are archaic and out of touch and that they are in need of new faces, ideas and programmes to attract the citizens.

No decisive victory is predicted from these elections as the multi-party system in the kingdom makes it impossible for any political party to win an absolute majority, forcing any winning party to work with other parties to form a coalition government.

Voters talking to Al Jazeera generally agreed on their expectations from the elections. 

READ MORE: Morocco election - everything you need to know

Many expect from the next government to alleviate the situation of healthcare, education and find new mechanism to generate employment, which remain major social challenges that previous governments failed to handle.

"People have lost confidence in politicians and political parties, and I don't think the turnout will be high," Jamal Ben Issa, an analyst, told Al Jazeera.

"Most of the leading parties in Morocco have been tested before, but failed to translate their promises in the electoral campaigns into achievements on the ground."

Morocco election: Candidates vow to tackle unemployment

Source: Al Jazeera News