Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron Economics'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron-economics, the former banker turned minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The capital of sex, drugs, alcohol, trash and trashy tourism'

Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, militants of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Liberia sacks ministers who left amid Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • American 'Islamic State fighter' killed in Syria

    Read more

  • The ‘war’ at the heart of France’s ruling party

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

Africa

Youth reject King's reforms and call for protests

Video by Siobhán SILKE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-19

Morocco’s youth-based pro-reform movement snubbed King Mohammed VI’s proposals to devolve power Saturday, promising to persist with protests until further reforms were proposed.

AFP – Morocco's youth-based February 20 Movement on Saturday rejected constitutional reforms proposed by King Mohammed VI, calling for nationwide protests.
             
"The plan as proposed by the king yesterday (Friday) does not respond to our demands for a true separation of powers. We will protest peacefully on Sunday against this plan," a member of the movement's Rabat section told AFP.
             
The king outlined curbs to his wide political powers in an address to the nation, pledging to build a constitutional monarchy with a democratic parliament.
             
The proposals, to be put to a referendum on July 1, devolve many of the king's powers to the prime minister and parliament.
             
They come in the wake of nationwide pro-reform demonstrations that started on February 20 -- hence the name of the movement -- inspired by other popular uprisings sweeping the Arab world.
             
The 47-year-old monarch, who in 1999 took over the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty, currently holds virtually all power in the Muslim north African country, and he is also its top religious authority as the Commander of the Faithful.
             
Under the new draft constitution, the king will retain this religious role and remain as head of state.
             
His person would be "inviolable," while the "free exercise of religion" will be guaranteed by the monarch, the king said in his speech.
             
The king would also remain head of the army and still appoint ambassadors and diplomats. He will also retain the right to name top officials of unspecified "strategic" administrations.
             
Many political players welcomed Mohammed VI's proposals.
             
"Compared to the current constitution, this plan is an important advance," Saad Eddine Othmani, an opposition lawmaker, told AFP. "Everything the king promised in his speech of March 9 has been retained."
             
That speech was the king's first since the uprisings that toppled the autocratic rulers of Tunisia and Egypt and came less than a month after the protests erupted in Morocco for more social justice and limits on royal powers.
             
"But is this advance enough? That is what we will discuss today" within the Justice and Development Party, an Islamist opposition party, Othmani said.
             
The head of the government coalition partner Party of Progress and Socialism, Nabil Benabdallah, also praised the speech.
              
"Morocco is entering a new constitutional phase. This plan will allow the construction of a modern democratic state," he said.
             
But the February 20 Movement, demanding deep political reforms, called for a peaceful protest on Sunday in cities including Rabat, Casablanca, Tangiers, Marrakesh and Fez, according to the movement's Facebook page, which has more than 60,000 adherents.
              
The youth-led group has brought thousands of people on to the streets in unprecedented calls for change and an end to corruption.

 

Date created : 2011-06-18

  • MOROCCO

    King to curb his own power in far-reaching reforms

    Read more

  • MOROCCO

    King announces landmark constitutional reforms

    Read more

COMMENT(S)