Moroccans to Vote in a Backdrop of Turmoil in The Arab World
RABAT – Moroccans are asked to approve a new constitution Friday that aims to rebalance the powers to the Prime Minister; King Mohammed VI has taken the measure of both the “Arab Spring” and the Moroccans’ desire for reforms.
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- About 13 million Moroccans, including those living abroad, members of the army and police, are asked to answer “yes” or “no” to the draft constitution.
For nearly 48 years, the sovereign was one of the first Arab leaders to take stock of the revolutions in the region, by announcing in March for constitutional reform.
The project aims to “strengthen the pillars of constitutional, democratic, parliamentary and social monarchy,” said Mohammed VI in a speech to the nation on June 17.
Despite objections and appeals for a boycott, the king is almost certain to see the text adopted, experts say.
- ”I will do my duty by voting “yes” because I want Morocco moves forward. The reforms are part of a movement that can benefit all. Things must be done gradually to be strong,” told AFP Fawzi Raissi, an urban planner.
”We must also tackle corruption and privileges that undermine Moroccan society, but I trust in the wisdom of the king to eradicate these evils,” he added.
For Mustapha Ramid, a member of Justice and Development Party, (PJD, Islamist opposition in parliament), “it is clear that the project provides many provisions that advance the constitutional institutions and for this reason, we say yes. But the site of the reforms remains open (to consolidate) democracy.”
”This will include ensuring free and fair elections and strengthen freedoms,” he tempered.