Morocco: A New Constitution Without Much Reform

This post is part of our special coverage Morocco Protests 2011.

Moroccans went to the polls today to vote on reforms on a new constitution offered by King Mohammed VI.

Although praised by many analysts and royalists, the reforms on the table did not live up to the expectations of politicians and activists, who were looking for a true democracy, with a separation of powers and the ceding of the monarch's absolute power to an elected parliament.

The King's offer was made following four months of street protests calling for reforms, which started hot on the heels of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions on February 20.

Bloggers and activists led a campaign on social media platforms, calling for a boycott of the referendum on the new constitution, which they say does not fulfill the needs of a real democracy. ReferendumMaroc shares this video which shows Moroccans stating that they would not vote in favour of the referendum:

Also last night, protests took place in several Moroccan cities, calling for boycotting the new constitution. maghribi7or007 shares this video from Fez on YouTube:

Mamfakinch, a news portal by Moroccan bloggers and activists which runs in Arabic and French, live-blogged citizen media reactions on the vote here.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, the day had mixed reviews.

Maroqui tweets:

@Maroqui: Just spoke to someone who is going to vote yes. His reason: we used to eat only shit, now we might eat shit with vegetables.

Ibn Kafka translated some of the reactions of Moroccan Twitter users tweeting in French. In one tweet, he writes:

@ibnkafka: According to @Lm9dma, voting officials tell voters not to bother voting as “official” results are already decided upon #dostour #morocco

In another, he tweets:

@ibnkafka: According to @IbtissameBetty, some polling stations in #Morocco do not have any “no” voting slips #dostour #Feb20

Sarah's marked fingernail. Photo credit: Sarah Fathulla

And Sarah Fathulla complains:

@SFath: Well they marked my finger w/ a pen supposed to last for 2 days. But I have nail polish on & could remove it easily.

Talk Morocco, an edited forum which encourages debate on all things Moroccan, has more discussions on the constitution here.

This post is part of our special coverage Morocco Protests 2011.


  • DHH

    “….the reforms on the table did not live up to the expectations of politicians and activists,….”

    I guess the person or persons who wrote this are part of some movement and “want to believe” that events here in Morocco have to do with the Arab Spring. They do not.

    The above quote is simply false. Most politicians and the public (note the public was ignorned in the item) are happy with the continuing reform in the Kingdom that in fact has been going on for 11 years now. The word “activist” is the problem and we wonder what their goal is? It should not be forgotten – but again ignored here – that when the King announced the referendum that the number of spontaneous supporters (ie “the people”) that came out on the street was huge and more than those that “demonstrated” later on. Only the February movement and the Islamists complain and we can excuse and understand the egenda of the Islamists, so what is the problem with the others?

    Could it be that because they are mostly “youth” that they are more influenced by the internet and events outside the country rather than the efforts and complexities that so many of their compatriots and in fact their parents had to work for?

    The reality is that the only concern here is not the Monarchy, the Constitution which has the support of the people, but that there is 35 political parties and an immature political party system that concerns itself more about personalities than political ideologies.

    I suggest the “activists” get a reality check and actually involve themselves than make constant demands without thinking how it gets done.

    Security Analyst
    9 years resident

  • […] reaction to the movement's regular protests, King Mohammed VI introduced a series of constitutional amendments in July prompting early legislative elections in November which put the Islamist PJD party at the […]

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