Morocco’s King Mohammed VI spent an historic Friday signing a new draft constitution he is putting to popular approval in referendum.
While he will retain some powers the document essentially ends his and the Arab world’s oldest dynasty’s hold on absolute power to a directly elected parliament.
He then went on television to announce the news to his people.
“The Constitution establishes a Prime Minister who will come from the winning party, who will lead the government, and executive power will be held by the party that has a parliamentary majority following direct elections.”
Mohammed said he saw his role as one of a “citizen king”.
“My people will find me at the forefront of the activity for this constitutional project, which will strengthen the foundations of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy after the people approve it in a July 1 referendum.”
Although Morocco has seen some protests in recent months as part of the Arab Spring movement they have been nowhere near as well-supported and widespread as elsewhere.