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News
Date:22 Jun 2011
Morocco to vote on constitutional reforms on 1st July

Moroccans will hold a referendum on the 1st of July to effect changes in their constitution, a step King Mohamed believes will turn the country into a democratic monarchy.

The reforms which was announced by the King, is aimed at further preserving the King’s authority on the security, the army and religion whiles entrusting some of its powers to Parliament and the government.

Critics believe that, this decision has been motivated by the fear that the general uprising that rocked parts of the Arab world will be replicated in Morocco. Though Parliamentary elections have been held in Morocco for almost 50 years, the Monarchy still retains power over the ballot box thereby stifling a democratic process.

A yes to these reforms will mean that; the king will name a prime minister – but this time only from the party that wins most seats at parliamentary elections – and to vet appointments of other ministers and suggest the termination of their mandates; executive powers will be granted the government, but it keeps the king at the helm of the army, religious authorities and the judiciary and still allows him to dissolve Parliament, but not unilaterally as it is the case under the current constitution.

Also, the king will continue to have a say over strategic appointments such as those of the powerful provincial governors – interior ministry representatives at regional level – the central bank or the phosphate monopoly and will name half the members of the constitutional court. The reforms would also make official the pre-Islamic Amazigh language, spoken by a sizable minority of Moroccans.

Meanwhile an activist group calling itself the Feb 20 Movement has been leading street protests demanding that the monarch hand over all his executive powers to elected officials since the proposed reforms do not provide true separation of powers.

The Kingdom of Morocco, the longest serving dynasty is headed by the Alaouite Dynasty and King Mohammed VI took over the reign of affairs when his father passed on in 1999.

Morocco’s constitution was instituted on March 1972 and revised in 1980, 1992, and 1996 (creating a bicameral legislature).


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