King of Morocco anounces only limited reforms

Posted on | juni 18, 2011 | No Comments

King Mohammed VI of Morocco has read out a spech on television on Friday night, in which he announced the contents of a new draft constitution. The Moroccans can vote for it in a referendum on 1 July.

In the new constitution the king maintains broad religious, political and military powers. Only a small part goes to the Prime Minister, who will be named “head of Government” . But the king retains absolute powers in defense. He remains “the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces” and he is not giving up the powers to appoint ambassadors and diplomats in the new constitution. Also he will choose the prime minister of the winning party in parliamentary elections. The prime minister has, acording to the new constitution, the right to appoint senior public servants like provincial governors. Also he has the right to disband the parliament. But the king retains this power as well, though only after consultations with a new body, a constitutional court that will be 50% appointed by him.

New is that the Constitution provides for “the independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative branches”. It means that the king gives up his position as head of the committee that appointed the judges.

As far as religion is concerned: Islam remains the state religion, and freedom of religion is supposed to be “guaranteed under the Constitution”. The king remains the highest religious authority in the country.

The Amazigh (Berber) language is listed as an official language alongside Arabic, however the wording makes clear that Arabic remains more important.

AUTHOR: Martin Hijmans
E-MAIL: m.hijmans [at]


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