Morocco’s health minister slept in the open to be first to register for elections


Morocco’s health minister, Yasmina Badou, slept outside an election office just so she could be the first person to apply for candidacy in the country’s upcoming legislative election, according to al-Massae daily.

Bodyguards of the election headquarters in Casablanca were surprised to see the health minister sleeping in the open, complete with mattress, blanket, bottles of water, and some biscuits.

The bodyguards said that she was at the offices at 6 o’clock in the morning waiting for them to open.

She told the paper that she intended to be the first person to put forth her candidacy in the upcoming elections and for that to be a symbol of her party, al-Istiqlal. Istiqlal is a conservative monarchist party.

It won 52 out of 325 seats in the parliamentary election held on Sep. 7, 2007.

It party’s leader, Abbas al-Fassi, was named Prime Minister by King Mohammed VI on Sept. 19, 2007.

Last summer, spurred into action as autocrats fell across the Arab world, the king hastily called a referendum asking Moroccans to decide on a new political system that would see the monarch ceding prerogatives.

In the July vote, more than 98 percent of Moroccans approved the political reforms and a call for early legislative elections.