Morocco votes on curbing king’s powers | Pakistan Today

Morocco votes on curbing king’s powers

Moroccans voted on Friday in a referendum on curbing the near absolute powers of King Mohammed VI, who has offered reforms following protests inspired by pro-democracy uprisings around the Arab world.
Faced with demonstrations modelled on those that ousted long-serving leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, Mohammed VI announced the referendum last month to devolve some of his powers to the prime minister and parliament of the north African country.
Under a draft constitution being voted on Friday, the king would remain head of state, the military, and the Islamic faith in Morocco, but the prime minister, who would be chosen from the largest party elected to parliament, would take over as the head of the government. State television showed Mohammed VI, dressed in traditional Moroccan robes and wearing a red Fez hat, casting his ballot in the capital Rabat. He made no public statements.
Analysts say there is little doubt voters will approve the new constitution, with the only concern being whether turnout will be high enough to ensure the referendum result’s credibility. After casting his ballot, PM Abbas El Fassi told reporters the new constitution would “propel Morocco into the ranks of democratic countries,” the official MAP news agency reported.

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