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MOROCCO TURNS INTO A CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY

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RABAT, Morocco - Moroccan King Mohammed VI announced a series of constitutional reforms in a speech Friday night that he said will turn the North African country into a constitutional monarchy, though pro-democracy activists remain skeptical.
Under the new constitution, the king will remain the supreme commander of the army and a new article formalized him as the highest religious authority in the country. The speech marked the culmination of a three-month review of the constitution at the order of the king after protests calling for reform swept the North African monarchy in February.
  • Immediately after the speech ended, cars flying Moroccan flags drove through the streets of the capital honking their horns, and young people marched along the wide boulevards banging drums and cheering.
  • Morocco has long had a parliamentary system with dozens of parties, but they remain weak and many are beholden to the king and his advisers.
While the king himself remains popular, there is deep dissatisfaction over the government and the advisers around the monarchy whom are believed to be corrupt and rapacious.
The reform of the 15-year-old constitution represents the king's response to the wave of pro-democracy fervor sweeping the Middle East and North Africa that has toppled governments. The new constitution will be put to a referendum on July 1.
Source: Daily Democrat..read more, AP
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