Thursday, March 10, 2011

Moroccan king says constitution to be revised

 (AP) – 22 hours ago
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — King Mohammed VI said Wednesday that Morocco will revise its constitution for the first time in 15 years, aiming to strengthen democracy in the face of a push across the Arab world.

In a rare TV and radio speech to the nation, the popular monarch said a new commission would suggest constitutional revisions to him by June, and the overall project would be put to Moroccan voters in a referendum.

"By launching today the work of constitutional reform, we embark on a major phase in the process of consolidation of our model of democracy and development," said the king, wearing glasses, a sober black tie and a dark suit. He was flanked by his brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, and his 7-year-old son, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan.

Some Moroccans poured into the streets of Rabat, the capital, to celebrate after the speech, blaring car horns and waving the North African country's single-star flag.

But the overall reaction to the country's first constitutional revision since 1996, and the first since Mohammed VI took the throne following his father's death in 1999, wasn't immediately clear. The speech, which was only announced hours earlier, came as many people in the football-crazy country tuned in to watch the latest European Champions League contests.

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