King Mohammed VI's Speech: Move Towards Constitutional Reform and Democracy
Morocco has been a loyal member of the Arab League. However, it has often attempted to serve as intermediary on peace issues
The King’s Speech
In a televised speech on March 9, 2011, the King announced that "We have decided to undertake a comprehensive constitutional reform."
The speech was hailed by people flowing into the streets to express their joy, praise for the king, and their loyalty to him.
According to the announcement, the constitution of Morocco will be revised for the first time in fifteen years in order to achieve "comprehensive constitutional reform" aimed at improving democracy and the rule of law.
“By launching today the work of constitutional reform, we embark on a major phase in the process of consolidation of our model of democracy and development," the King added in his first national address since last month's protests across the nation.
The King announced that a committee has been set up to work on proposing constitutional revisions. These shall be completed by June, and the draft will then be submitted to a national referendum.
The main features of the reform plan so far indicated are to expand “individual and collective rights,” an independent judiciary, a stronger role for the legislature and political parties, and devolution of more powers down to local governments.
Dancing in the streets
The King’s speech was received by Moroccans literally with dancing in the streets. Most political parties affirmed that the King had heard their concerns. Foreign sources, particularly the French, expressed praise for the leadership of the king in meeting democratic desires of the people. Of course, all look forward to exactly what changes will be recommended in June.