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Title: Morocco's King Mohammed VI promised sweeping constitutional reforms,
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Morocco's King Mohammed VI promised sweeping constitutional reforms, including real powers for a popularly elected prime minister instea...

Morocco's King Mohammed VI promised sweeping constitutional reforms, including real powers for a popularly elected prime minister instead of a royal appointee, as well as a free judiciary.
In his first speech after uprisings across the Arab world and less than a month after protests erupted in Morocco for more social justice and limits on royal powers, the king Wednesday pledged to draw up a new draft constitution.
"We have decided to undertake a comprehensive constitutional reform," King Mohammed said, underlining his "firm commitment to giving a strong impetus to the dynamic and deep reforms... taking place."
He outlined seven major steps, including the way the prime minister is chosen.
Instead of being appointed by the king, the prime minister will be drawn from "the political party which leads in the elections" in parliament, he said.
The prime minister will have "effective executive power" and be "fully responsible for the government, public administration... and implementing the government's programme," the monarch said.
He also pledged "expanded individual and collective liberties and the reinforcement of human rights in all dimensions" and spoke of the "will to set up an independent judiciary."
The Moroccan monarch announced the formation of a commission to work on the constitutional revisions, with proposals to be made to him by June. A referendum will then be held, he said, without giving a date.
The live broadcast was the first time the king has delivered an address to the nation since thousands of people demonstrated in several cities on February 20 demanding political reform and limits on his powers.
They were the first protests in the country since the start of the uprisings across the Arab world that toppled the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt this year.

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