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2021 Elections Observation: CNDH Conclusions on processing 3144 forms related to campaign

Based on processing 3144 forms related to the observation of the electoral campaign, the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) elaborated its Initial Report on the legislative, regional and local elections observation that took place on 8 September 2021.

The CNDH noted cases of physical and verbal violence, new forms of discrimination against women, and the limited participation of persons with disabilities in electoral campaigns. Besides, it monitored the extent of respect for the right to stand for elections, participation of Moroccans living abroad and foreigners living in Morocco, allegations related to using money and gifts and respect of precautionary measures by parties and candidates.

Furthermore, the CNDH also elaborated observations on disrespect of privacy rights, authorities and religious officials impartiality, exploitation of places of worship, difficulties facing observers in conducting their missions.

Cases of violence
The CNDH observers noted 149 cases of violence, including 21 cases of physical and material violence. They also noted verbal and moral violence (insulting, cursing, and slandering) among supporters of some candidates.

The CNDH considers that these cases are isolated and few compared to the number of campaign activities.

In this regard, the CNDH denounces forms of violence that occurred at the electoral campaign and on the polling day. It also condemns all violent practices in all their forms and stresses the importance that parties plan their campaigns and strengthen the capacities of their managers.

Discrimination and violence against women
The CNDH expressed its deep concern with the unprecedented withholding images of women on electoral lists.

There were political parties that submitted lists of unidentified women profiles. Candidates without faces while all men faces were published in the same lists. They put the party's logo in place of women candidates’ photos. It is a denial of women's right to full citizenship. It perpetuates new forms of violence that harm the human rights of women and mislead the voter.

The CNDH also monitored several cases in which women were victims of violence: defamation, insults, slander and harassment, particularly in Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, Fez-Meknes, and Marrakech-Safi Regions.

Participation of persons with disabilities
The CNDH noted that the number of electoral campaign activities that were framed by persons with disabilities exceeded 12%, including one activity and one video in which sign language was used.
Platforms with accessibility (for campaign activities) did not exceed 20%, while no electoral publications were noted in Braille language. There were 65 cases in which persons with disabilities were absent from electoral publications.

Right to stand for elections
At the Communal election, the CNDH recorded the participation of 31 parties, coalitions of political parties and no affiliations. Men candidates represented 70.13% and women candidates  were 29.87%. Thus, the Communal election had the lowest percentage comparing to the parliamentary.

Moroccans living abroad and foreigners in Morocco
The CNDH noted that more than 100 Moroccans living abroad stood for the 2021elections.
Moroccans living abroad were mentioned in only 12.5% ​​of the electoral campaign activities, while migrants were noted in only 6.5%.

The CNDH monitored the use of expressions or behaviors against foreigners in two cases of electoral campaign activities.

The CNDH also noted foreigners working in the electoral campaign in 32 cases in Dakhla, Laayoune, Nador, Oujda…, while  there were discussions on the parties programs among candidates and foreigners in 15 cases in Fez, Oujda, Laayoune, Dakhla, Casablanca.

Allegations of the use of money and gifts
The CNDH noted a political body invitation for citizens to vote for its candidates, where they reminded them that these people provided them with in-kind and cash assistance during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Besides, the CNDH elaborated observations on allegations related to using in-kind and cash donations to get the voters to vote for them in 49 cases.

The CNDH also noted that public forces arrested individuals for distributing cash and in-kind donations.

The CNDH stressed the importance of implementing the redress mechanisms provided by law to enhance the integrity indicators.

Precautionary measures

The CNDH’s observers noted a lack of respect for precautionary measures during the campaign, including social distancing, masks, exceeding the number of individuals allowed in gatherings…

60.3% of the forms examined by the CNDH showed ignoring precautionary measures by candidates and relevant bodies.

The CNDH noted that less than 19% of cases where campaign managers took measures related to awareness-raising on COVID-19 pandemic.

Personal privacy
The CNDH noted political bodies and candidates using personal data of citizens in several cities. Citizens received text messages inviting them to vote for a political body.

Authorities and religious officials impartiality and places of worship
Except for some isolated cases, authorities were impartial at the election campaign.
The CNDH noted 30 cases where campaigns were held in worship places and 53 cases of religious guides participating in election campaigns activities.

Observers' mission

CNDH’s observers noted that some local authorities did not provide them with some data.

The CNDH also noted a case of verbal violence against an observer representing La Fédération de la ligue des droits des femmes on 31 August 2021 in Marakech. It also noted a case of a CNDH observer prevented by a local authority from conducting her mission.