18 June, 2011


In what he described as ‘a new contract between the monarchy and the people’ (a phrase which Tony Blair might have composed) King Muhammad VI of Morocco has made concessions to the Arab Spring, giving up some powers to the Prime Minister although retaining control in the military, security and religious areas. The Prime Minister would be able to appoint some (not all) cabinet ministers and he himself would be chosen by the King from the party with the largest number of seats.

Protesters from the February 20th movement by contrast, insist on a full parliamentary democracy and an independent judiciary.

The people, nearly half of whom are illiterate, have a fortnight before having to vote in a referendum.

Muhammad came to the throne nearly 20 years ago promising reforms. After a few tentative steps he stopped. My guess is that this is now too little, and far too late.

No comments: