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The country where the head of state censors a poll showing he has 91% support

Is Morocco, and the black pen wielder in chief is His Maj, King Mohammed VI. OK, his goons are.

Le Monde in partnership with TelQuel - a Moroccan equivalent of Newsweek - decided to put the relatively liberal, by regional standards, credentials of Morocco to the test by polling the Plain People of Morocco on sundry issues involving the King and so forth. And for its pains, the entire print run of TelQuel has been seized and presumably pulped - enjoy its blacked out front page here; they have just done the same thing with Le Monde.

And what were the horrors lurking within the findings that upset the censors so much? "The monarchy cannot...be a matter of debate, even in an opinion poll", sez Khalid Nacira, the Minister of Communication (sic...).

Well, 91% of those polled have on balance a positive view of the first ten years of the King's reign.

Other figures are no presented by Le Monde in tabular form, so I have had to pick out vague references here and there:

"Nearly one in two Moroccans think the monarchy, in the way in which it is exercised, is democratic".

"The ostentation with which the king likes to be surrounded does not get in the way. It is one of the surprising lessons of this survey: 51% of the Morrocans think that the heavy royal protocol has been cut back"

"the King is a sacred person for three quarters of Moroccans". Original is sacré, and arguably means something more like 'special' in this context.

"His businesses are equivalent to 6% of Moroccan GDP. Is that a problem? No. Only 17% of those polled think so".

"Nearly one in two Moroccans think the King has gone too far in his desire to liberate women".

Apparently women are legal equals to men except in matters of inheritance. Rather better, if true, than what goes on with that family masquerading as a country at the other end of the Arab world.

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