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Moroccan Monarch Announces Constitutional Reforms

In deference to the demands of protesters, Morocco will revise its constitution for the first time in 15 years.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/10/2011, 6:33 PM / Last Update: 3/10/2011, 6:28 PM

In deference to the demands of protesters, Morocco will revise its constitution for the first time in 15 years.

King Mohammed VI told the nation in a rare address broadcast on the country's television and radio networks that a new commission will make recommendations for constitutional revisions by June.

The king was shown flanked by his brother, Prince Moulay Rachid on one side, and his 7-year-old son, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan on the other.

“By launching today the work of constitutional reform, we embark on a major phase in the process of consolidation of our model of democracy and development,” said the king.

Moroccans poured into the streets of the capital of Rabat to celebrate following the speech.

The king, who ascended to the throne in 1999, said that any plan would be put to a referendum by Moroccan voters, and will ensure the prime minister is selected by the majority party in the parliament.

Planned reforms are to include enhancements to the independence of the nation's courts and greater power for the regional authorities.

Last month's protests were not deemed a threat to the monarchy; demonstrations were aimed at the country's parliament and not the king, according to the Associated Press. King Mohammed has a doctorate in law from the French University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.