Washington, DC (March 14, 2011)— Following His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s historic speech last week proposing far-reaching Constitutional reforms, US Senate and House leaders voiced strong, unequivocal support for the King’s leadership and the Moroccan people’s aspirations to strengthen democracy in the country.
“I congratulate the King of Morocco for making such a positive step towards democracy by decentralizing his government, giving more power to the people, so they are accountable and so they are able to have the power,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) Chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen commended His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s “very forward, pro-democracy, pro-accountability” approach to initiating reforms.
Sen. John McCain (AZ), who visited Morocco in February, called the King’s speech “impressive” and praised His Majesty’s “long-standing commitment to lead Morocco to a future of reform and modernization.” Sen. McCain also called Morocco a “positive example to governments across the Middle East and North Africa” and urged the US “be vigilant and tireless in our support for the government and people of Morocco in transforming the King’s vision of reform into a reality that improves the lives of all Moroccans.”
Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT) hailed the King’s speech as “a hopeful step in the right direction to address the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Moroccan people.” He noted that the measures put forward by the King will undoubtedly “strengthen human rights in Morocco.”
Praise also came from Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), who called His Majesty King Mohammed VI “an example to follow” and a leader who “really understands how to move forward.” Rep. Steve Cohen (TN), called Morocco a “rock” in the region and noted that the country’s track record of reforms safeguarded Morocco from the “same problems as Egypt or Libya.” Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY) also commended the King’s commitment to enshrine women’s equality in the constitution, calling it “the right thing to do in order to make the country stronger.”
On March 9, His Majesty King Mohammed VI announced a comprehensive set of constitutional reforms and a far-reaching regionalization initiative to advance and broaden the democratic reforms that have been underway in the country for more than two decades. The new proposals will strengthen Morocco’s elected government, ensure the independence of the judiciary, and further empower local communities and regions.
This week, Morocco launched a website, http://www.reforme.ma/, to gather input from Moroccans on the proposed constitutional reform, and their ideas will be presented to the Advisory Committee charged by His Majesty the King to oversee the process.
“It is the Moroccan people who will have the last word,” said His Majesty King Mohammed VI in last week’s speech. “They shall express their will through a free, fair referendum.”
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