Morocco has been on a steady path of reform for decades. Since ascending the throne in 1999, King Mohammed VI has consolidated, accelerated, and broadened democratic reforms begun during the reign of his father, King Hassan II, in an effort to empower individual citizens and the institutions that represent them. King Mohammed VI is committed to this democratization, noting in 2003 that Morocco’s, “strength lies in the democratic system we have opted for as an irreversible choice which, coupled with a proactive, committed diplomacy, involving parliament, political parties, trade unions and civil society, will help us in the defense of our just cause.”
Toward this end, King Mohammed VI has developed initiatives to promote citizen participation in politics and decentralization, human rights, gender equality, and equitable human development. Under King Mohammed VI, Morocco has had a series of free and fair parliamentary and local elections. Morocco is in the initial stage of a new regionalization process to devolve power to local and regional elected officials, bringing decision-making closer to local communities. The Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) was created to identify and redress past human rights abuses. An autonomous human rights council with increased investigative and monitoring powers (CNDH) has been established to protect civil and human rights. Morocco’s family code has been reformed to give women equal standing with men. Mandatory quotas have been set for the inclusion of women in national and local elections. The National Human Development Initiative (INDH) was established to build sustainable futures for Morocco’s most disadvantaged communities. And sustained efforts are ongoing to fight illiteracy in order to promote economic and political progress.
In 2011, Moroccans voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new Constitution that will maintain and enhance Morocco’s reformist path by establishing a constitutional monarchy with separation of powers, enhanced responsibilities for local and regional governments, and clear support for the multicultural, multi-religious character of Moroccan society.