Morocco vote to curb king's powers, abolishing death penalty


Morocco vote to curb king's powers, abolishing death penalty
by Darius Kadivar

Morocco’s Constitutional reforms will not only curb the King’s Powers but are said to pave the way for the abolition of the death penalty. The last death penalty carried out in Morroco dates back to 1993 under the rule of the former King Hassan II. It was not that of a political prisoner but a serial rapist. According the Amnesty international the total number of executions under Hassan II’s rule amounted to a total of 527. The constitutional reforms launched by HM King Mohammed VI, “pave the way for the abolition of the death sentence” in Morocco, which would become the first country in the Muslim world to do so, the French Daily ,“Le Figaro”, wrote on Thursday.


The Key Question Regarding tomorrow's vote will be one of participation.

Morocco heads for vote on curbing king's powers:

Moroccan authorities pushed for a "yes" vote on Thursday, on the eve of a referendum on curbing the near absolute powers of King Mohammed VI, who has offered reforms in the wake of uprisings inthe Arab world.


Morocco: Demonstrations For and Against Constitutional Reforms – Al Arabya:

The constitutional reforms launched by HM King Mohammed VI, “pave the way for the abolition of the death sentence” in Morocco, which would become the first country in the Muslim world to do so, the French Daily ,“Le Figaro”, wrote on Thursday.

“The new draft constitution, which will be put to a referendum tomorrow, opens prospects for abolitionists,” the Daily said, referring to Article 20 which enshrines the right to life. In this respect, the paper quoted the President of the Committee for the Revision of the Constitution Abdelatif Mennouni as saying “this articleis meant to put an end to executions.”

“Our ambition isto meet the aspirations of the civil society in terms of liberties and fundamental rights,” added Mennouni, noting that Article 20 was drafted in away that enables the abolition of the death sentence.

Echoing him, the President of the National Human Rights Council, Driss El Yazimi underscored that, after the referendum on the draft constitution, the Parliament will have to deal with this issue.




(AL JAZEERA - Jun19, 2011)



Morocco's King Mohammed VI promises changes as part of a "historic transition" into democracy but are people buying it?






Morocco Americans Debate on Constitution Referendum: The TV Debate (Aired on Jun 29,2011):


Washington / Morocco Board News--

Several Moroccan American observers and community activists debated the proposed new constitution uring a televised debate in Washington. At the debate, some calledfor a boycott others are planning tovote "yes" for the referendum.
Mr.Hajjouji Ahmad spoke about theprocess of producing the new constitution. "This draft is an improvement no doubt, but this package was put on the table andwe were told to vote on itin two weeks, there was essentially no debate, no chance for people with conflicting views to come to the table, and discuss and inform the voters, you want that vote to be based on solid information... "

Mr.Masiky a writer and a former spokesman for Amnesty International USA said"the new constitution includes some important reforms that will will improve things,particularly reforms relating to the Justice, providing that they are implemented properly "

Mr Adil Naji , an entrepreneur and community activist said " The majority of Moroccan, most political parties have accepted the new constitution, they want to move forward, they regard this as the foundation for more reforms in the future".

The program was produced by Said Zairi and Hosted by Mostapha Saout, the editor of Morocco Board News.








Morocco heads for vote on curbing king's powers (France 24, English)

AFP - Morocco entered the final day of campaigning Thursday for a referendum on curbing the near absolute powers of King Mohammed VI, who has offered reforms in the wakeof pro-democracy uprisings in the Arab world.

Faced with protests modelled on the Arab Spring uprisings that ousted long-serving leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, Mohammed VI announced the referendum this month to devolve some of his wide-ranging powers to the prime minister and parliament.

Under a new draft constitution to be voted on Friday, the king would remain head of state, the military, and the Islamic faith in Morocco, but the prime minister, chosen from the largest party elected to parliament, would take over as head of the government.

Mohammed VI, whoin 1999 took over the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty, offered the reforms after the youth-based February 20 Movement organised weeks of pro-reform protests that brought thousands to the streets.

The reforms fall short of the full constitutional monarchy many protesters were demanding and the movement has urged its supporters to boycott Friday's vote.

The reform plan has been hailed abroad, however, with the European Union saying it "signals a clear commitment to democracy".

The country's three biggest political parties -- the Justice and Development Party, an Islamist formation; the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP); and the conservative Istiqlal party -- have also urged their supporters to vote "yes".

The February 20 movement has continued to hold protests,organised through websites such as Facebook and YouTube, since the reforms were announced and maintains they do not go far enough.

The movement has already called another demonstration for Sunday.

Analysts say there is little doubt the new constitution will be approved and the brief referendum campaign has been dominated by the "yes" side, with few signs of an organised "no" vote movement.

Thousands of supporters also took to the streets in major cities including Rabat and Casablanca on Sunday to back the reforms.

Along with changes granting the prime minister more executive authority, the new constitution would reinforce the independence ofthe judiciary and enlarge parliament's role.

It would also remove a reference to the king as "sacred", though he would remain "Commander of the Faithful" and it would say that "the integrity of the person of the king should not be violated."

The new constitution would also make Berber an official language along with Arabic -- the first time a North African country has granted official status to the region's indigenous language. According to the 2004 census, 8.4 million of Morocco's 31.5 million people speak one of the three main Berber dialects.



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Morocco's King Mohammed VI pledges constitutional reform

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Morocco’s judges donned red armbands on Tuesday in a symbolic week-long protest calling for greater independence for the judiciary.

The Judges’ Club, a banned but tolerated association that includes more than half of the country’s nearly 3,000 judges, said the protest was in response to the silence of the government over reform.

Morocco’s courts have historically been weak and under the control of the king and his Justice Ministry, which determines judges’ salaries and appointments so that they will often rule as instructed for the sake of their careers.

Constitutional amendments passed in 2011 elevate the judiciary to the status of a branch of the government on par with the executive and legislature and give it greater independence from the Ministry of Justice.

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On May 8, the king nominated a 40-person commission to begin the dialogue on judicial reform. No member of the Judges’ Club was named to the commission.

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Protesters involved in pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011 made the reform of the judiciary and increasing its independence a key demand.


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Moroccans Overwhelmingly Approve New Constitution (VOA)



Moroccans have overwhelmingly approved the constitutional reforms that King Mohammed VI says will bring democratic reform to his country.

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