General Country Information
The Kingdom of Morocco, a former protectorate of France and Spain, gained its independence in 1956. Currently the country is ruled by King Muhammad VI who assumed the throne upon his father Hassan II’s death in 1999. The next parliamentary elections will be held in September 2007. Morocco de facto administers the Western Sahara since 1975. The Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony. Its sovereignty is disputed between the resistance movement Front Polisario and Morocco.
Morocco has a population of about 34 million in total, most of which are Sunni Muslims. Berbers is the largest ethnic group, about three-quarters of the total population are of Berber descent. About 52.3% of the population is literate.
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