Morocco faces a number of socio-political challenges, including the occurrence of petty and grand corruption in economic and political arenas. The general public believes that politicians are corrupt and merely in search of personal gain, which has led to deep public mistrust in the political system. In February and March 2011, thousands of Moroccans took to the streets demanding an end to corruption, reforms to fight unemployment in the country, better civil rights and a reduction in the power of the incumbent King Mohammed VI. As a consequence of the uprisings during the Arab Spring, the King promised reforms, and, in October 2011, Parliament passed a landmark law to protect trial witnesses and experts, as well as whistleblowers. Nevertheless, the manager for Morocco’s Centre for Anti-Corruption Legal Assistance points out that whistleblowers do not feel protected under the new law and therefore abstain from reporting on corruption from fear of recrimination, as an October 2012 article published by Morocco World News reports.
A December 2010 article by The Guardian argues, citing a leaked US Embassy report, that corrupt practices have become "much more institutionalised" under King Mohammed VI, and that the royal family has been using public institutions to "coerce and solicit bribes". According to the article, this type of corruption particularly affects the real estate sector. Furthermore, significant drug trafficking in northern Morocco is conducive to corruption, and drug lords successfully bribe the police, judges and high-level officials within the security and customs services in order to smuggle drugs to Europe.
Morocco’s Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC) criticised the country’s progress in tackling graft in its 2012 annual report to the prime minister, according to a Magharebia article from November 2012. The ruling Islamist Party of Justice and Develop (PJD) ascended to power in 2011 on a platform of corruption and judicial reforms; however, little has changed, reports a September 2013 Fox News article. According to a January 2013 Magharebia article, Mohamed El Hassiani, a Moroccan MP, was arrested on 2 January while allegedly in the process of accepting a EUR 18,000 bribe at a café for the purpose of expediting payment on a public lightening contract.
The US Department of State 2012 reports that corruption is considered a serious problem in all branches of the government. Ministers and parliamentarians are obliged to declare their assets, but declarations are not publicly available. According to Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2013, only 13% of surveyed households consider the government's efforts in fighting corruption to be effective. Surveyed households identify public officials/civil servants as the third most corrupt sector (behind police and medical sectors) in Morocco, with 73% reporting the sector to be “corrupt” or “extremely corrupt”.