Morocco votes on King Mohammed's reforms.
Some Moroccans would like to have a constitutional monarchy Continue reading the main story
Q&A: Morocco referendum
'Watershed for the country'
Is Morocco next for mass uprising?
Moroccans are going to the polls to vote on a series of constitutional amendments and reforms.
The proposals, put forward by King Mohammed VI, would give the prime minister and parliament more power.
Analysts say that he is widely expected to win the vote, though low turnout could spark demands for bolder changes.
His reforms come in response to protests inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings, which ousted leaders in Tunisia and Egypt.
'Date with history'
Morocco's own youth-based February 20 Movement organised weeks of pro-reform demonstrations through websites such as Facebook and YouTube which brought thousands on to the streets. They have urged their supporters to boycott the vote.
"We reject what has been offered. It still leaves a sole player in the field," one of the movement's co-ordinators Najib Chawki told Reuters news agency.
But all the country's main political parties, unions, civic groups, religious leaders and media have for the past several weeks urged Moroccans to vote in favour of the hew constitution.
By 1600 local time (1500 GMT), turnout was 48%, state TV reports.
Polls are due to close at 1900 local time (1800 GMT), with preliminary results due shortly afterwards.
The king did not say anything as he cast his vote in a chic district of the capital, Rabat.
The vote, which represents the first constitutional referendum under the king's 12-year rule, has been described by one Moroccan newspaper as "a date with history".
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At the scene
BBC Arabic, Rabat
Some call it the "big decision day" here in Morocco. Yet Moroccans seem to be going about their daily life without much fuss unlike the days leading up to the referendum. Some people here say it is the quiet before the storm.
In one of the polling centres, set up in Hassan II High School in the capital, Rabat, all voting rooms looked the same. They contained a Moroccan flag and a poster of the king, both taped next to each other on the blackboard. Participation was slow in the morning but people say much more voters will turn out after Friday prayers.
There is a sense of anticipation in the kingdom, many people feel they are making history and they say they are weighing their vote carefully. They know their vote - no or yes - may represent a referendum on the king himself.
The king himself has described the reforms as: "A decisive historic transition."
"I support the king, he keeps Morocco safe. It is not like Algeria and Yemen, it's stable here," Rachid Aboul-Hassan, a cab driver in the capital, Rabat, told the AP news agency.
"There are problems here, but we are taking small steps, slowly."
Under the draft constitution, the king remains as the head of state, the military, and the Islamic faith in Morocco, but the prime minister - to be chosen from the largest party elected to parliament - would take over as head of the government.
The reforms, the king has pledged, would reinforce the independence of the judiciary, boost efforts to tackle corruption, guarantee freedom of expression and gender rights and make Berber an official language, alongside Arabic.
"The majority will approve the reform. What's really at stake is voter turnout," said Lahcen Daodi of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development opposition party (PJD), which supports the reform.
Those calling for a boycott say the vote has been called too quickly to allow proper debate The turnout at the last parliamentary polls in 2007 stood at just 37%, the lowest recorded.
The reform plan has been welcomed abroad, with the European Union saying it "signals a clear commitment to democracy".
But it fails to meet the demands of a full constitutional monarchy sought by many protesters.
Many activists have been sceptical about the king's promises of change, saying Morocco's 400-year-old monarchy has a long history of enacting superficial reforms.
Morocco has been facing severe economic challenges with high unemployment and rising levels of poverty.
King Mohammed, 47, acceded to the throne in 1999 following the death of his father, Hassan II, and now heads the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty.
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