Morocco History Between 1970’s and 1990’s

After the 1977 elections, the economic crisis began to have repercussions in the political life of Morocco. In 1980, following the government decision to significantly reduce spending on public education, students vigorously protested with a series of demonstrations and strikes. The situation worsened in June 1981, when at least 66 people were killed in Casablanca during a general strike, called to protest against rising food prices. Meanwhile, the political elections, which should have been held within the year, were postponed to 1983, on the basis of a constitutional amendment (approved by referendum) which extended the intermediate period between two elections from four to six years. Once the new deadline has come, the elections were further postponed for a year, pending the referendum for Western Sahara; however, the mandate of the previous legislature expired in November 1983, re Ḥasanii decided in the meantime to appoint a government of national unity, headed by MK al-Amrānī (Lamrani) and composed of representatives of the six main political parties.

In early 1984, following the price increases of some foodstuffs and school fees, numerous riots broke out in various cities of the country. The army on a few occasions opened fire on demonstrators and unofficial sources spoke of 110 civilians killed. The legislative elections were finally held in September 1984, with a new victory for the center-right parties loyal to the Crown (206 seats out of 306), even if the increase obtained by the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) was noteworthy. won 36 seats.

Despite the elections, the national unity government remained in office, and it was only in April 1985 that the king decided to appoint a new government structure, led once again by al-Amrānī and made up of the four center-right parties, with the exclusion therefore both of the Istiqlāl that of the USFP. In September 1986 al-Amrānī was forced to leave office for health reasons and was replaced by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, ῾Izz al-Dīn al-῾Irāqī. The new government had to face the internal opposition with determination, represented by the movements of the far left and above all by the organized groups of Islamic fundamentalism. Numerous death sentences and heavy prison sentences were imposed in the trials that were instructed, but in the two-year period 1987-88 the Crown intervened several times to grant amnesties, with the declared intention of improving the situation of human rights in the country. For Morocco history, please check

The Western Sahara question and the complex relations with the other Maghreb countries have dominated Morocco’s foreign policy for years. The annexation, made by Morocco in 1976, of part of Western Sahara caused the breakdown of diplomatic relations with Algeria, which supported the Frente Polisario (Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el Hamra y Rio de Oro) and hosted within its borders the government in exile of the Sahrawi Arabian Democratic Republic (proclaimed on February 27, 1976). The continuous clashes between the Moroccan armed forces and the Polisario liberation army risked politically isolating Morocco in the Maghreb area. Thus it was that in August 1984 king Ḥasan iiand Colonel Gaddafi signed a cooperation treaty between Morocco and Libya. But relations with Algeria also gradually improved: already in 1983 Ḥasan ii and the Algerian president Šadhilī Ben adīd had met in order to launch a policy of pacification; relations between the two countries registered a further improvement in May 1987, when the two heads of state met again to try to solve the problem of the Western Sahara. On May 16, 1988, Morocco and Algeria re-established full diplomatic relations, and in the same year there were repeated interventions by the United Nations to resolve the Sahara issue peacefully.

Inside, in December 1990, a general strike to obtain adequate wages for rising prices ended in a massacre (20 dead in Fès). In March 1992 Ḥasan ii announced some amendments to the Constitution which were submitted to a referendum on September 4, 1992 and were approved with 99.9% yes. The reform provided for a greater balance between legislative and executive power, but was considered completely insufficient by the opposition parties that gathered in a “democratic bloc” in May 1992. In direct political elections (election of two thirds of parliamentarians) held on June 25, 1993 the opposition parties won the majority of seats, but thanks to the indirect elections of September 17 (one third of the deputies elected by a college of representatives of municipal councils, professional associations and employees) the governing parties they secured a majority of seats. In the international arena, Morocco

Morocco 1970's