One of the freest, most stable Arab countries, a constitutional monarchy, has just announced significant reforms. That the first Arab government to do this is a constitutional monarchy should not pass by unnoticed.
The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, is being praised at home and around the world for proposing wide-ranging reforms. France calls these 'important, responsible and brave.'
( See the video clip below)
The Kingdom of Morocco was for the first half of the twentieth century a French protectorate with a small Spanish protectorate in the north, Tangier being an international city administered by the consuls.
…independence and tolerance…
Led by King Mohammed V the Moroccans gained their independence in 1956, although the small Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla remain in the North. (Spain regards these as integral parts of Spain; Morocco insists they are part of Morocco)
Morocco has been one of the most stable Arab countries, friendly to the West. Its Jewish minority has enjoyed the protection of the three Kings since independence. This is consistent with the attitude of the Sultans, as the Kings were once named, who gave a haven to the Jews expelled from Spain, and later to the Spanish Moriscos, the descendents of Jewish converts.
…reforms to the constitutional monarchy….
Already a constitutional monarchy, King Mohammed VI has significantly increased political freedom, while retaining an active role in the governance of the country.
In a television address to the nation on 11 March 2011, the King has promised a referendum to increase the independence of the judiciary, and to provide a stronger role for parliament and political parties. There will be a programme to devolve more power to local officials.
According to reports, the speech also appeared to go down well on the streets. This video clip is of a news report by Euronews, the major European news supplier.
'It was a speech of the future and for the future of Morocco, hand in hand with all Moroccans. We are united for the development of the country,' said one reveller after the address.
This video clip is of a news report by Euronews, the major European news provider.