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MOROCCO: King says not giving in to 'demagoguery'

Morocco Moroccan King Mohammed VI said he would not give in to "demagoguery" a day after thousands of people took to the street to demand he give up some of his powers to a newly elected government.

The monarch, speaking after he chaired a ceremony for the long-awaited appointments of members of a social and economic council, said that building an effective democracy should go hand in hand with sustainable human development.

The remarks were carried by Morocco's official MAP news agency.

Meanwhile, scores of protesters attended a rally demanding political reform and limits on the king's powers in Rabat on Monday, including Khadija Riyadi, president of the Moroccan Assn. of Human Rights.

--  Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Demonstrators demanding political reform and limits on the powers of King Mohammed VI stage a protest Monday in Rabat. Five bodies were found in a bank set ablaze during unrest that erupted in Morocco last weekend after thousands of people demonstrated in several cities for change, government officials said Monday. Credit: Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (11)

To Salim,
It is very clear that these guys are bogus! They are hired to saturate the web with positive comments and imaginary embellishments about the enchanted kingdom. The kingdom of autocracy where me, myself and I govern peacefully ever after. Yeah, clearsam isn’t that clear after all! He resorts to the scare tactic of “Shariaa law”, thus mastering the buzz words susceptible of getting him East and West avid listening ears. Masterful yet not so clear! We can see through it as can all Moroccans. Maybe they can let us in? How much it pays? I am willing to sale my soul but only to the highest bidder. I think not!

To Maroquin,
Yes some of these responses here are suspicious. For example "clearsam" copy past the same response in other website under different user name 'Sorlag". Compare his response here to the one posted on http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2052901,00.html.
The only explanation I have for some one who copy past a comment, is that he/she is trying to saturate the website with false opinions.
Some of these answers may well be from government officials. I have also noticed few pro-government videos on youtube, they look very professional. The Moroccan government is trying to play the same game (social media) to respond to protesters.

I can see from the Moroccan replies here that pro dictators are either abundant or wealthier with a PC and lots of time to comment! Maybe they get paid for the postings! Honestly, that is the only way I can see someone who can read and type mention that Morocco is a democracy! What democracy??? Do yourself a favor and find a copy of your constitution and READ it. While you are doing the research, find out who owns the wealth in Morocco and how. It becomes a moot point to even debate with such peons!

Today when you look at the political scene in Morocco, there are no real alternative to the monarchy. The political parties are traditionally weak; many of them have voided their right to push for political changes, and most of them lost credibility because they were promising changes that were never materialized.

During the last few weeks Moroccans saw a unique opportunity to make a change in their life, a real change. What we learned from the February 20th is that Moroccans don’t trust the government and don’t want a Monarchy to govern. Yet you can feel that many still fear the system and were shy or cautious in their declaration in front of the camera, for example they would say: we want to reduce power of M6, or we want shared power, however their posts and panels said clearly that they don’t want the monarch to govern.

Soon after coming to power in 1999, M6 who portrayed him self as a cool king and open minded ruler, was asked if he would consider running a constitutional monarchy. M6 strongly rejected the idea arguing that Morocco has a unique model that can not be compared to Spain or England. I still don’t know if the Monarch was referring to social and cultural differences between Morocco and Europe, or simply the fact the Moroccans are still not prepared for democracy (ej high literacy index etc). Regardless of what the Monarch was thinking, he suggested that democracy is not universal, and that Moroccan needs different type of democracy. In fact in his 10 years of governance, M6 kept a similar political agenda as Hassan II, for example he pointed the primer minister, made most of the critical decisions, and kept the same religious figure (Commander of the Faithful). The government role was limited to serving the king, reporting and executing the orders. The king did introduce some positive changes that were significant although some times their implementation was not as efficient, this include the new family code, the reconciliation with families who suffered during Hassan II repression and some other changes. But the overall democratic process is Morocco is slow and it is not expected to evolve because it is not compatible with the current constitution.
Finally M6’ last reaction to the protest seem to indicate that the Monarchy is not giving up power and he is not willing to introduce substantial change the political system. My prediction is that in the best scenario, the Monarch and his close circle will propose few little changes to try to calm down the situation for the next few years, and may include other changes to protect the Monarchy for life. For the long run, if Tunisian, Libya and Egypt are politically stable under a democracy, this will put more pressure on the Moroccan Monarchy to follow the norm.

A protest is a protest, labeling 40,000 people as bench of extremists and opportunistic is an insult the Moroccan society. Yes we have 56 political parties, but name one that made a difference in our lives. Political parties don't have a say in our political system, every one knows that. Every major decision is made by the Monarch, is that a democracy? our parliament is a joke, it lacks credibility, not because their people are incompetent, it is simply because the Monarch own the decisions.
In Morocco we are living a delusional democracy, a fake democracy that we sell to Europe and US in exchange of support...
In Morocco we don't have an opposition, we have a king that decided every thing in consultation with the consul and the parliament, and the government that sign the endorsement and execute. Do you really think that one person is enough to run a whole country with all the social and economic complexity?


The Moroccan protest can hardly be described as a protest, the Moroccan people's message was clear: they did not agree with the protesters who are very known to Moroccans as a bunch of opportunists who wanted to use the wave of protests in the arab world in order to attain their own agendas which have nothing to do with the well being of the Moroccan people, and thats why the participation was very low, most of those who were marching and chanting slogans are affiliated with activists political associations or banned extremist groups like "Al adl wa alihsaan" which has only one objective: removing the monarchy and installing Shariaa law as they see it, other protesters were extreme leftists who surprisingly still believe the soviet union will come back and rip off capitalism, many of those who marched were simply passionate and emotionally charged with what happened in Tunisia and Egypt, they even chanted slogans in Egyptian dialect, slogans which has nothing to do with Morocco's situation.

Please keep things in their context! what the king said wasn't a reaction to demonstrations. it was for the creation of the Economic and Social Council. Unlike other arab countries, reforms started in Morocco a decade ago and the creation of the Economic and Social Council is one of the steps that the government is taking to improve lives of the Moroccans.

First of all, your remarks are completely false. The protests did not show any chants or slogans requesting Mohamed VI to give up some or all of his power. They were requesting the current government to be dissolved as well as the current members of the parliament. The second point is that those protesters represent less than 7% of the population. Morocco is not Egypt or Tunisia, it is the most stable arab nation, has no oil or gas and yet its people live much better than those of the above mentioned country.
Stop writing articles and commenting without investigating. Go on facebook and match groups of the supporters of the King with those against. Members are 10-1. Mohammed VI wakes up at 6am everyday running around the country inaugurating companies, housing complexes etc... He is loved by the poor and the rich. Google "King of the Poor". Get your facts straight and stop lowering of any nation that is not located in Western Europe or North America.

The King in Morocco has done a lot for the Moroccan people. They just don't want to be left out of the rest of the region's protests. Bottom line is, with a 56% literacy rate in Morocco, things won't improve until the people in small villages start sending their kids to school instead of using them as farm laborers. The jobs programs that the King put into place are doing absolutely no good, because young Moroccan men would rather sit in cafes and go to football games than work, living off their parent's pension. I know because I see my Moroccan brother in law doing it.

So basically the king is saying that we are not ready for a democratic process, What human development aspect is he referring too?
This is an insult to the Moroccan people. Democracy is a universal right that does not have to be conditioned by the level of literacy. Sadly, the Moroccan government and the king circle have capitalized on this deficiency to impose their constitution.
There is no Demagogy involved here, the Moroccan people simply do not want to live under dictatorship any more, they tried for the last 60 years, So enough is enough!
The Tunisians, the Egyptians, the Libyans and many other Arabs are living a similar situation....

I live in Morocco. From what i can see, most Moroccans are angry....at the protesters. The politicians who fanned this fire will pay a heavy price at the elections if they don't apologize to the public for the damage caused by their partisan protests. The organizers of these protests belong to parties that lost sorely during the last elections. The few thousands they were able to gather do not represent in any way the Moroccan public and their rhetoric is seen by everyone here as old shoes. Their disruptive behavior has angered most Moroccans and many are demanding that the Justice Department take immediate action against the looters and the politicians who used them t get the media attention. Our Kingdom is moving very fast toward an associative model precisely because the political process is seen here as slowing the growth of the country. We have 52 political parties in Morocco, unlike Egypt, Lybia or Tunisia which had monolithic one way ideologies serving the whim of the ruling elite. The fact that Moroccans have very little patience with the zigzag polemics of self-serving politicians puts the politicians under pressure to deliver with concrete actions. Moroccans want their king to be able to change course and change appointments when the people and the time is ready. In that scope, they see politicians as standing between them and the king. They love their country and their king, and wish the latter had more power, not less, to do what the country needs done. That's the general consensus here, anyone saying the contrary has either never been here, or does not bother to ask Mr ans Mrs everybody in our Kingdom. The petty old school politicos with their 30 year old rhetoric, who used the legitimate plight of the Lybians, Tunisians and Egyptians to suit their selfish political goals and created an amalgam between these countries and Morocco are going to disappear from the political scene because the people does not see itself in their demagoguery to repeat the words of H.M. the king. We will never forget that these politicians made possible the deaths and damages in business to our beautiful country. Our country has just taken one step closer to be united for Monarchy, for human rights in Africa, and for Peace.


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