Pro-democracy protesters in Morocco are dissatisfied by the package of constitutional reforms the country’s king unveiled on a television broadcast last night.
King Mohammed VI made steps to transfer some of his powers to government minister and parliament, but retained several key posts under his authority, including army chief and sole religious authority, as “Commander of the Faithful.”
We encourage a parliamentary authority that is ready to make sure that parliament makes final legislative decisions, the king said in his speech.
This parliament has the ability to question any official in the country.
As a result, activists and members of the so-called anti-government “February 20” youth movement group have vowed to hold a rally on Sunday to demand more comprehensive changes. Critics claim that the 400-year-old monarchy has historically implemented meaningless “reforms” during periods of social unrest.
February 20 is calling for a truly democratic constitution and a parliamentary monarchy.
A spokesman for the group in Rabat told reporters: The plan as proposed by the king yesterday does not respond to our demands for a true separation of powers. We will protest peacefully on Sunday against this plan.
However, some Moroccans have welcomed the king’s proposals.
One man in Rabat told BBC: The kingdom of Morocco has joined the list of democratic countries.Today as Moroccan youths, we're all celebrating our new constitution from the city of Tangier to the city of Lagouira.
One unusual part of the reform package is that the state will finally recognize Berber - or Amazig - as an official language, along with Arabic. The Berbers, who are Morocco's indigeneous people, account for 60 percent of the population. They have long complained of discrimination.
The king’s reform measures will be put to a referendum on July 1.
King Mohammed, 47, assumed the throne in 1999 upon the death of this father. He continues the longest-serving dynasty in the Arab world.