Posted : 2011-06-27 16:51
Updated : 2011-06-27 16:51

Moroccos draft new Constitution

By Mohammed Chraibi

In the course of the constitutional revision process that was launched by King Mohammed VI on March 9, 2011, the Kingdom of Morocco managed to draft a new democratic constitutional charter, which has received national and international support and is based on the appropriate suggestions made by political parties and trade unions, community groups and youth organizations.

Indeed, the Constitution was drawn up by Moroccans, for all Moroccans, following a democratic, inclusive and transparent approach. Thus, an Advisory Committee for the Revision of the Constitution was established and tasked with scheduling hearing sessions, receiving memoranda of all stakeholders (political parties, trade unions and civil society groups as well as youth representatives) and preparing an innovative draft Constitution.

In this vein, the official constitutional project, as the king put it in his speech to the nation delivered on June 17, is the bedrock of the special Moroccan democratic development model and a new historical bond between the throne and the people. The draft new Constitution is based on the following elements:

1. Enshrining in the Constitution the citizenship-based monarchy and the citizen king.

2. A nation whose unity is based on the fully endorsed diversity of its constituents: Arabic, Amazigh, Hassani, Saharan, African, Andalusian, Jewish and Mediterranean components. Constitutionalizing the Amazigh language as an official language of the kingdom, alongside Arabic.

3. Enshrining in the Constitution all human rights as they are universally recognized. Hence, strengthening a full-fledged architecture of rights and freedoms worthy of advanced democratic societies.

4. An executive branch led by the head of government, in accordance with democratic practice:

― “The prime minister” will be appointed from the party which wins the general elections, thereby confirming that the government will result from direct universal suffrage;

― The head of the government has full authority over Cabinet members and has the power to steer and coordinate government action, and to supervise public service;

― The draft Constitution empowers the head of government to dissolve the House of Representatives with the consultation of the king.

5. A legislative branch which wields strong legislative and regulatory power as well as authority to assess government policy;

6. A special system and effective mechanisms for parliamentary opposition will be set up in order to enhance its status and role in enriching parliamentary action, in terms of both legislation and control.

7. Enhance the status of the judiciary as a branch which is autonomous from the executive and the legislative branches, thus confirming the independence of the judiciary.

8. Constitutionalizing certain key institutions, while leaving the door open for the establishment ― through legislative or regulatory texts ― of other mechanisms and institutions in order to promote citizenship and democratic participation.

9. Strengthen the mechanisms of good governance, integrity in the public sector, and the fight against corruption, through the establishment of a coherent, full-fledged national institutional system. A Supreme Security Council, which will convene under the chairmanship of the king, will be in charge of the management of internal and external strategic security issues, as well as structural and emergency matters.

10. Enshrining in the Constitution Morocco as a country of unified regions and based on a democratic, highly decentralized system, a country which seeks to achieve integrated human and sustainable development, within the framework of the unity of the state and the nation and its territorial integrity, and the respect of the principles of balance and national and regional solidarity.

In the light of what precedes, it is worth mentioning that the draft Constitution, which will be submitted to the Moroccan people via a referendum, on July 1, duly taking into account the democratic principles, development-oriented institutions and mechanisms of good governance required, and safeguards the rights and dignity of all Moroccans, in conformity with the principles of equality and the rule of law.

The separation of powers is ensured under a constitutional, democratic, parliamentary and social monarchy. It is a citizen-based monarchy which upholds the nation’s basic policy objectives, fulfilling sovereignty and ultimate arbitration functions.

Advanced regionalization and the redistribution of powers between constitutional institutions are enshrined in the Constitution. The constitutional basis for a new local and regional setup in the kingdom is thus conducive to substantial devolution of powers from the central authority to the regions with several forms of partnership and contractual relationships between the state and the regions.

Furthermore, the draft new Constitution adopted an active, harmonious linguistic and cultural policy geared toward the protection and promotion of national and official languages, and encouraging the learning of foreign languages which foster openness and permit access to the knowledge-based society.

The new draft Constitution confirms the status of Morocco as a sovereign Moslem state, committed to the ideals of openness, moderation, tolerance and dialogue to foster mutual understanding among all civilizations.

Mohammed Chraibi is the ambassador of Morocco to the Republic of Korea.
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