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Arab Spring Strikes Again: Morocco Reforms to cut Monarch's Powers

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opednews.com Headlined to H1 6/18/11

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Moroccans rising up against the entrenched system.

Just as in other countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, in Morocco there has been a human groundswell for greater freedom, democracy and representation against the backdrop of the decrepit system of government there, this time an absolutist monarchy, but one whose man at the top, King Mohammed VI, is smart enough to try to flow with the groundswell rather than stand defiantly against it, as has unfortunately happened in countries like Libya and Syria, which are now engulfed in rivers of blood and suffering because the entrenched strongmen there have refused to relinquish their privileges and power. But will the constitutional changes the king is proposing be enough to assauge the people?

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For more exposition on this, check out this excerpt and video from al Jazeera:



Morocco's king has announced a series of proposed changes to the country's constitution, including amendments that would strip him of some of his political powers.

The changes, announced by King Mohammed VI in a live address to the nation on Friday, will be put to a referendum on July 1.

"We have managed to develop a new democratic constitutional charter," the king said, adding that the constitution "enshrines a citizenship-based monarchy".

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The proposed amendments would provide for the strengthening of the authority of the country's prime minister and parliament.

The prime minister would become the "president of the government", and would be able to appoint government officials - an authority previously held only by the king.

The new "president of the government" would also be able to dissolve parliament, the king announced, another role previously accorded only to Mohammed VI.

The new constitution ensures the prime minister is selected from the party that received the most votes in election, rather than just chosen by the king.

The reforms also strengthen parliament, allowing it to launch investigations into officials with the support of just one-fifth of its members or to begin a censure motion against a minister with the backing of a third, rather than needing the unanimous approval demanded by the current constitution.

The judiciary, which has long been criticised for lacking independence, would be governed by a supreme council composed of judges and the head of the national human rights council. The justice minister would not be on the council.

"We encourage a parliamentary authority that is ready to make sure that parliament makes final legislative decisions," the king said. "This parliament has the ability to question any official in the country."

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However, the king would remain a key power-broker in the security, military and religious fields. (FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE)

 

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