Children of Arab spring: Egypt and Morocco represent two sides of the process of democratisation in North Africa [Times of India]
Morocco’s reform success is praised for creating a successful model for democratization and development in North Africa:
[…] In 2011 Morocco’s progressive monarch, King Mohammed VI, sensed the desire for change and ordered the drafting of a new Constitution that would enhance the power of the elected parliament and transform the country into a genuine constitutional monarchy. The new Constitution not only provided the framework for greater devolution of political power but also laid the foundation for strengthening an independent judiciary and elevating the status of human rights for all of Morocco’s peoples, including those from the Sahara.
It was on the basis of this new Constitution that Morocco held fresh parliamentary elections in 2011 that saw moderate Islamists of the PJD come to power through a coalition government. Hence, by drafting a progressive, secular and inclusive Constitution first Morocco avoided Egypt’s mistake and closed off the possibility of any one group dominating the Constitution-drafting process. Today, under the guidance of King Mohammed and the positive leadership of the government, Morocco has emerged as a force of stability in North Africa. Not only has it shown that an Arab-African model for democracy and development is possible, but Morocco is also actively engaged in furthering African prosperity through economic, social and security partnerships with other countries in the Sahara and Sahel regions.
In recognition of these efforts, the international community is increasingly viewing Morocco as the gateway to develop Africa. US administrator for small and medium enterprises Maria Contreras-Sweet said as much on the sidelines of the 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech last month. That the summit was followed by the 2nd World Forum on Human Rights – once again in Marrakech – with 6,000 participants from 100 countries shows Morocco’s growing importance in the region. Clearly the world is willing to invest in Morocco, both financially and through human capital. This is tantamount to an explicit acknowledgement of the fact that Morocco has done much more than any other country in North Africa to promote democracy, human rights, security and human development so that all of these can go hand in hand…[full story]