The disputed territory of Western Sahara is currently under the control of the government of Morocco and the Polisario Front political group. The regions under Morrocan rule are governed by a parliamentary monarchy, which means the country is lead by a royal family member. The Prime Minister acts as Head of Government and oversees the bicameral legislative body. The two legislative bodies are the Assembly of Councillors and the Assembly of Representatives.

The regions under the Polisario Front are known as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which is considered an independent nation by many countries. This government is lead by a President, who acts as Head of State. Legislative duties are carried out by the National Council, which is lead by the Prime Minister, who acts as Head of Government.

The citizens of Moroccan controlled areas participate in the elections of Morocco, which take place only to elect the members of Parliament. The citizens elect 270 members to serve on the Assembly of Councillors for a 9-year term and 325 members to serve on the Assembly of Representatives for a 5-year term.

The residents of the the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic regions, as well as the Sahrawi population living in refugee camps in Algeria, take part in elections for this country. These individuals elect the members of the National Council. Member of the Polisario Front meet at a General Popular Congress and appoint the National Secretaria. The Secretary General of this body becomes the President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The President then appoints the Prime Minister.

The House of Parliament of Morocco is located in Rabat, the national capital. It is a red, 2-story building with 6 large columns along the front entrance area. Its members meet in the principal room, which has seating situated in a circular shape that faces a higher podium of additional seating.

The Sahrawi National Council meets in several locations, depending on where it can safely carry out its duties. The government of this partially recognized nation largely acts as a government in exile and in the past met in El-Aaiun, the largest city in Western Sahara. This city, however is in Moroccan controlled territory. Currently, the government has declared the town of Tifariti to be the new, temporary capital. This town has been the site of several General Congress and National Council meetings.

Morocco has a multiparty political system. The parties in power in the House of Councillors include: Istiqlal Party (24 seats), Authenticity and Modernity Party (23 seats), and Justice and Development Party (12 seats). Those in power in the House of Representatives include: Justice and Development Party (125 seats), National Rally of Independents (37 seats), and Popular Movement (27 seats).

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic does not allow political parties at this time.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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