Constitutional reforms unveiled in Morocco
Proposals for constitutional amendments have been unveiled in a speech by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. The measures, which were drawn up by a panel appointed by the king, are said by him to be a move towards a constitutional monarchy, although he has confirmed he will retain some key powers. In his speech he said the reforms laid the basis for an “efficient, rational constitutional system whose core elements are the balance, independence and separation of powers, and whose foremost goal is the freedom and dignity of citizens”.
The proposals, which will be put to a referendum on 1 July, will ensure the Prime Minister is the “head of government” and chosen from the majority party, rather than being selected by the king. The premier will choose the cabinet and a number of other key government positions and the power of parliament will be strengthened. In addition, Berber will be made an official language in Morocco, alongside Arabic.
The king is still remains popular, although many view his advisers as corrupt and there was a mixed reception to his speech. Activists pointed to the speed with which reforms are being rushed through, without proper discussion.
The king will remain as the supreme commander of the armed forces, and retain control over security. The prime minister will be able to chair two of the key councils, the Council of Ministers and the Supreme Security Council – which make security policy, but only following an agenda which will be set by the king. In addition, the selection of the powerful regional governors will still remain the king’s prerogative.