Moroccan king’s powers curbed in reform proposals

Moroccan king’s powers curbed in reform proposals

Some of Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s political and religious powers will be reduced in a proposed constitutional reform that the monarch will announce Friday.

By (AFP)

Published: Fri 17 Jun 2011, 11:26 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:34 PM

The proposals, to be put to a referendum next month, also provide for the strengthening of the authority of the prime minister and parliament, according to the draft submitted to political parties.

The king is expected to announce the proposals in a televised speech at 9:00 pm (2000 GMT).

This follows nationwide pro-reform demonstrations inspired by other popular uprisings sweeping the Arab world.

Under the proposals drawn up by a reform panel appointed by Mohammed VI in March, the prime minister will become the “president of the government”, according to the draft.

He will be able to appoint government officials, including in the public administration and state enterprises, taking over an authority previously held only by the king.

The prime minister will also be able to debate general state policy with a government council at weekly meetings to be held in the absence of the king, according to the proposals.

Under the current constitution, only the cabinet chaired by the monarch can decide on state policy.

The new “president of the government” will also be able to dissolve parliament, assuming another role previously accorded only to Mohammed VI.

Among the new competencies of the parliament would be declaring a general amnesty, also currently only the king’s domain.

The judiciary would meanwhile be independent of the legislative and executive authorities. Mohammed VI has until now headed the council that has appointed the country’s judges.

The king’s status in the constitution as “sacred” would be dropped but he would still hold the title of Commander of the Faithful, which makes him the country’s only religious authority.

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