France has praised the King of Morocco for announcing wide-ranging reforms it called ‘important, responsible and brave.’
Mohamed VI promised an independent judiciary, a stronger role for parliament and political parties and a programme to devolve more power to local officials.
The speech also appeared to go down well on the streets
‘It was a speech of the future and for the future of Morocco, hand in hand with all Moroccans. We are united for the development of the country,’ said one reveller after the address.
The King appeared on TV flanked by his brother and son. At the moment, he has the power to dissolve parliament, and has a major say in appointing the prime minister.
His reforms would mean the premier coming from the majority party, and parliament would elect the government.
Good governance, human rights and the protection of liberties, he said, would be enshrined in the new constitution.
Emboldened by their neighbours’ discontent in Tunisia and Egypt, Moroccans found their voice last month.
One opposition leader said the King had responded favourably to all constitutional demands.
The changes will be subject to a referendum.