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King announces democratic reform

Morocco's King Mohammed VI has promised to pass democratic reforms in an attempt to appease protesters inspired by recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.


AP - King Mohammed VI announced Wednesday a broad revision of Morocco’s constitution, a move aimed to boost democracy in the north African country amid recent turmoil in the Arab world. 

In a rare speech to the nation on radio and TV, the king said a new commission would be created to examine revisions to the constitution, and it would issue its recommendations to the royal palace by June.
The king said the efforts would aim to devolve greater power to Morocco’s regions, which would help consolidate “our model of democracy and development, and which leads to a deep constitutional revision.”
Morocco has so far avoided the persistent unrest that brought down regimes in fellow north African countries Tunisia and Egypt. Five people, however, died in violence linked to protests across the country on Feb. 20.
The main target of those protests was parliament, where many Moroccans fear their voices have not been heard – even though the king retains absolute power.
The king did not make any direct reference to the upheaval that has swept across North Africa and elsewhere.
An ally of Europe and the United States, he is widely seen as a reformer compared to his father Hassan II.


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