Morocco’s constitutional sleight of hand

Posted on | juli 20, 2011 | No Comments

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights – Association Marocaine des Droits Humains (AMDH) made public today, Tuesday July 12th, a pointed report on the July 1st constitutional referendum. It noted the government orchestrated grave transgressions that undermined the electoral process and influenced the electorate leading to a 98.5% in favor of the new constitution. The report decried the extensive use of television, radio, and newspapers, as well as taxpayers’ money, public property, and apolitical venues such as mosques by governmental entities to saturate the opinion pool with a discourse favorable to the agenda of a few and mute the undogmatic grassroots opposition whose public support has grown exponentially since the 20th of February. The government’s partisanship is contrary to the democratic principles boded by the new constitution. As to human rights, the association conveyed its skepticism of the government’s willingness to uphold its obligation to foster a state of law and condemned its disingenuous efforts to curtail abuses against those who oppose the status quo.

Justice Monitor of Morocco, another watchdog, leveled harsher criticism against the government in a statement to the media. They denounced the unethical and sometimes unlawful campaign the government launched to mobilized the population in favor of the new constitution. Their investigation and analysis indicated the number of voters and the tally of favorable votes the government blared out were grossly inflated and should not be considered seriously. The watchdog argues that the Moroccan electorate is estimated at twenty-four million; of those and according to voters registrar, less than thirteen million hold a voter’s card. It assesses that the July 1st referendum turnout could not have surpassed 20% and by no means expresses the will of the majority of Moroccans. Additionally, the watchdog raised serious misgivings about the electoral process and uncovered irregularities in the way voters lists have been compiled and maintained and voters cards have been handled.

Many Moroccan journalists, political analysts, and bloggers, myself included, have reported on the flagrant perversion of democracy the government has been trying to impose on the people. Just recently, Taieb Fassi Fihri, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Khalid Naciri, Minister of Communication and the government’s official spokesman, in interviews with international and national media, carried on their bovine insistence that the post-July 1st Morocco is more democratic and nationally cohesive. Moroccans understand that the situation will not improve so long as the same nepotistic and avaricious potentates with total disregard for the law and the will of the nation. They have made the prospect of democracy in Morocco walk the plank.

AUTHOR: Ahmed T. B. / Cabalamuse
E-MAIL: cabalafuse [at]


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