Vote Breakout Shows Strong Turnout in Regions Across Morocco
Washington, DC (July 4)—As praise from world leaders continues for Morocco‟s historic July 1 vote approving its Constitutional reforms, His Majesty King Mohammed VI sent a message to President Barack Obama expressing July 4th congratulations and pride in the „long-standing friendship‟ and „strategic partnership‟ that has defined the two nations‟ relations for more than two centuries. In 1777, Morocco was the first nation to recognize US independence and in 1787 it signed America‟s longest “Treaty of Friendship and Peace.”
In his message, King Mohammed VI reiterated “the strong commitment of Morocco to the principles of democracy” and “the fight against all forms of extremism” and “violence,” as well as supporting the “values of tolerance” the two nations share. He noted “the permanent consultation and coordination between the two countries” and Morocco‟s continued support for US initiatives “to achieve peace and stability in the world and bring just and peaceful solutions to long-lasting conflicts, notably in the Middle East and Africa.”
The King’s message comes as final votes cast yesterday by voters living abroad indicated that more than 73 percent of Morocco‟s 13 million registered voters turned out for the referendum on Morocco‟s landmark reforms to strengthen its democratic institutions and establish it as a Constitutional monarchy.
According to provisional results, 98 percent of those voting approved the reforms. It is significant that regional voter breakouts show broad support across Morocco, with turnout exceeding 80 percent in six of 16 voting regions, highest in the three southernmost provinces that are part of the Western Sahara.
“The United States welcomes Morocco‟s July 1 constitutional referendum,” said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She added, “We support the Moroccan people and leaders in their efforts to strengthen the rule of law, raise human rights standards, promote good governance, and work toward long-term democratic reform that incorporates checks and balances. We look forward to the full implementation of the new constitution as a step toward the fulfillment of the aspirations and rights of all Moroccans.”
The European Union praised “the positive outcome of the referendum” on Constitutional reforms and pledged to “fully support Morocco” in its implementation. EU leadership called Morocco‟s reforms “important commitments to enhancing democracy and respect for human rights, strengthening separation of powers” with a stronger parliament and independent judiciary, and “advancing regionalization” and “gender equality.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy committed “France’s full support for the exemplary process through which Morocco is resolutely and peacefully pursuing its deepening of democracy.” Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called the vote a “clear and historic decision,” saying “Morocco has succeeded in four months, peacefully and with dialogue, to take a decisive step,” in contrast with a region shaken by “confrontation, sometimes violent.” Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also hailed Morocco‟s vote, saying “The commitment shown by His Majesty to bring about these changes is becoming a reference point for many other countries.”
For a Map of Morocco Referendum Voter Turnout by Region, go to: http://www.moroccanamericanpolicy.org/upload/media/Morocco%20Voter%20Turnout%20by%20Region%207-1-11.pdf
For Answers to FAQs on Reforms in Morocco, go to: http://www.moroccanamericanpolicy.org/upload/media/SP_Constitutional%20Reforms%20FAQ%2027June11FINAL.pdf
The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. For more, please visit www.moroccanamericanpolicy.org
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