Today Moroccans have a chance to change their history in a referendum on a new constitution. In it King Mohammed VI relinquishes absolute power, retaining command of the armed forces, the judiciary, and the religious authorities. The government will rule, although the King will name the prime minister.
“Today the constitution has been modified so that we can attain all our goals. We are going to create jobs, with industrial growth poles in every region of the kingdom, and the fight against corruption will be boosted by the creation of a special court,” said Minister of Economic and General Affairs Nizar Baraka.
There is some scepticism the King has moved in haste to quell any “Arab spring” movement taking root, and that the reform is a quick fix that does not really do the job. Youth movement Fevrier 20 says the constitution doesn’t go far enough.
“The constitution doesn’t give enough power to the government to face the demonstrations, and provide a response to the social demands, and social protests,” says Yousef Belal, Professor at Rabat and Colombia universities.
The people have also only had two weeks to prepare for the vote since the constitution was announced. The highest turnout is expected from the poorest areas, where many appear to believe the reforms will make a real change to their lives.