#Feb20, Constitutional Reform, Democracy, Moroccans For Change, Morocco

Constitutional Reform: Commission What Change? ~ #Feb20

The Commission for Constitutional Reform, referred to as the Mennouni Commission, has been heavily criticized for being handpicked by The King himself, thus sustaining the same top to bottom approach that the Moroccan change movement is opposing. Yet, when the Feb20 youth movement refused a meeting invitation by the commission’s President Dr. Mennouni, many wondered if their move was unconstructive.

In reality, it’s not so much the fact that the King handpicked all the members of the constitutional reform commission, or the refusal of the feb20 youth members to meet with Mennouni, that undermine the scope of democratic constitutional change: it is rather the approach undertaken by the Mennouni Commission.

“Leaks” came out this week about what the new constitution would look like. The fact that the news was widely labeled as “leaks” is a clear indication of the secretive approach chosen by the Mennouni Commission. There were also reports that the commission has invited political parties and labor associations to provide feedback on the constitutional proposal without allowing them the adequate time or opportunity to discuss and propose alternatives. As it turns out, the Mennouni team has failed to display the democratic mind-set and stakeholders’ involvement tools that could have led to a popular constitutional proposal. To fill this void, citizens are increasingly gathering around parallel groups such as the FCCD in order to brainstorm the scope and goals of a constitutional reform.

Could the Mennouni Commission have garnered legitimacy, regardless of the fact that it was established through absolute power of the King and the Feb 20’s choice not to participate? Arguably, yes, if only the commission had observed some democratic prerequisites, such as:

  • Transparency: The commission’s meetings and discussions are being held behind closed doors. Since the King’s historic speech on March 9th, not once has Mennouni nor his team ever appeared on TV to inform Moroccans about their debates, progress, challenges, nor address the legitimate questions about the commission’s functioning or the reform approach that it is pursuing.
  • Accountability: Shouldn’t Moroccans be entitled to periodic interactions with the commission through the media (TV, radio, conferences)? Shouldn’t the commission publish minutes of its meetings? Has the commission lived up to the democratic obligation to openly interact with representatives of the civil society, and listen to their needs and priorities?
  • Inclusiveness: The revision process could have been accompanied by an effort to reach out not just to political parties, but also to all the civil society through its various levels and diverse stakeholders: national, local, communal, interest groups (such as women’s associations, and other nonprofits specialized in local development).  These various interactions would have helped the commission identify common interests and venues for consensus. Ultimately, it would have served to prepare for a successful constitutional vote.

Instead, sometime in June, the veil will be lifted, and we will then get a short glimpse at Mennouni’s take-it-or-leave-it constitution before a referendum takes place. Moroccans will then face the choice to vote yes, no, or abstain.  But, most likely, their vote will be less on the new constitution, than on the reform approach undertaken by Mennouni and his team, which symbolizes business as usual.

Ultimately, the constitutional vote will indicate if Moroccans firmly stand behind change.That is of course, if the voting and counting processes are transparent and truly reflective of popular choice.

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Constitutional Reform: Commission What Change? ~ #Feb20

  1. Annahj Eddimocrati » refuses the official form declared to modify the constitution and calls for reinforcing and continuing the movement fighting for the sake of a democratic system.
    Annahj Eddimocrati » national secratary studied the official form set up to apply constitutional modification and decides that :
    1-The official initiative inculcates once more the same old style of donated constitutions ;dedicated constitutions from above where the king stands as the sole and unique seizer of the institutional authority emphassising by that the on going strategies which has been persued since the first constitution in 1962.Also,the initiative is,on the content level,no more than a trasient make up which is unable to cut up with the a regime of tyrany and individual absolute governance where the king is « Emir almominine »(Emir of believers in God)-keeping tightly in hand unlimitted jurisdictions as it is declared in chapter 19 of the current constitution ;jurisdictions which are fully opposed to the principals of duty and responsibility those stressing the questionning of governors and their accountabilities .
    2-the official initiative doesn’t provide a complete convincing answer to the revendications of the militant movement fighting for democracy and social equity which appears in the aftermath of February the20 since it restricts the constitutional case only in modifications at the form level without considering the core of the political system which indeed necissates radical change.More than that,when this initiative deneys completely the claims of the democratic movement -dissolution of parliament,existing councils and the current government and the isolation of the mekhzenian mafia figures who are responsible for political and economical crimes –it is undoubtedly aiming at containing the militant movement and resticting it in postponed projects by implanting within it illusions to segment it and thus facilitate its supression.
    3-The change Moroccans are waiting for is a complete radical change in all fields and here in some of its requirements :
    -A democratic constitution formulated and initiated by an elected institutional council.A constitution which materializes the Moroccan public will by taking into account the public sovreignity that citizens are the only source of authority , by cutting up with the individual absolute goernance and by acknowledging the equity between women and men and recognizing « Tamazight » a natonal culture and an official language.
    -Dissolution of all secret and parallel oppressive state devices which are responsible for political crimes and putting persons in charge of them on trial.
    -Trial of all the corrupted persons and those who looted the public wealths and national fortune and the confiscation of their prorities.
    – Breaking up of all the elected institutions and the current government as they are void of the public and democratic legitimacy.
    -Free and fair elections ensuring equal chances for all the existing forces and prohibiting any kind of secratary of state « ministry of interior »intervention in the people’s political life.
    -Ending up with the current type of economy and legistate instead an economic and social policies which satisfy the fundamental needs of the Moroccan population and which guarantee the access of employement and social services to all citizens.
    -Liberating the public Information from the retroactive and narrow mindedness it is living to guarantee its openess to diferent views and beliefs and thus establish values of freedom and democracy.
    -improving all constituents of the national culture by making it open to all humnitarian progressive values.
    For all these matters,the national secretary of « annahj eddimocrati »calls upon all audiences of our public who is inspired with freedom,democracy and dignity, calls upon all militant forces of our society to stick to maintaining the unity of the movement to guarantee its continuity.It,also ,calls militants to toughly stand against any type of purposeful manoeuvring aiming at aborting the movement.It ,finally,assures that « annahj Eddimocrati » the democratic way party is fully involved in all the militant fighting initiatives set by the 20th of Feb mouvement.

    Posted by abou ziad | June 10, 2011, 5:19 pm
  2. pedia na rotiso kati an kaipos exi ftiaksi ena blog kai den grafi tipota apla to xrisimopii gia tus pelates toy.px asxolume me diafimistika dora exo ena blog kai mesa exo fotografies ton diafimistikon pu pulaon ala xoris times,exo kani enarksi epixirisis apo tin eforia gia to thema ton timologion,kai to blog to thelo mono gia na mpenun i pelates mu na mu dinun paraggelies diladi na blepun ta proionta me tis fotografies tu kathe proiontos, eki ego eimai paranomos?

    Posted by Dewa | May 21, 2012, 9:21 am

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