Map of Morocco
Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of nearly 33 million and an area of 710,850 km2, and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara. It is a part of the Maghreb region, besides Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania and Libya, with whom it shares cultural, historical, and linguistic ties.
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive powers, including dissolving parliament at will. Executive power is exercised by the government but more importantly by the king himself. 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. Parliamentary elections were held in Morocco on 7 September 2007, and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and fair; although voter turnout was estimated to be 37%, the lowest in decades. The political capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca; other large cities include Marrakesh, Tetouan, Tangier, Sale, Fes, Agadir, Meknes and Oujda.
The population speak either Moroccan Arabic and/or Berber of Morocco with many regional dialects. Berber-speaking Moroccans can be divided in three main dialectal groups: Riffians, Shlouh Berbers and Middle-Atlas Berbers.