RABAT (Reuters) - Moroccans started trickling to the polls on Friday in rain and under grey skies to put in place the first stage of a two-chamber parliamentary system proposed by King Hassan to spread democracy and give rural regions more say. In the first direct elections for a house of parliament, the 325 seats of the lower assembly are being contested by more than 3,000 candidates, nearly 10 for each constituency. Just 69 women hopefuls - a record - are seeking election. The last 333-seat parliament had two women MPs. But in a reshuffle earlier this year, King Hassan made clear his wish to see more women in power by appointing four as secretaries of state, the first to hold this rank in Morocco. Sixteen parties are in the lists, with six given a realistic chance of winning more than a handful of seats. Despite nearly a dozen parties being allied in three groups - the pro-government Wifaq, the opposition Koutla, and the Centre group - none has been able to agree in fielding joint candidates to increase their chances. Most political commentators forecast no party or group will get a majority and few will predict which way the ballot will go with many party programmes similar in their emphasis on continued economic reform to a liberal economy, tackling unemployment and helping regional development and education. One analyst said the results could reflect those of the local and regional elections held in June, when the main blocs emerged with around 30 percent each. The 270-member upper house (Majlis al-Mustacharin - Chamber of Counsellors) will be indirectly elected, through councils, progressional bodies and trades unions, on December 5. It will have power to topple the government through a no-confidence vote. Polling stations are due to close at 6 p.m.(1800 GMT) but with a possible extension of two hours to help turnout. Final results should be known on Saturday.