Arab World

 

01. Morocco > Constitution and Government


CONSTITUTION
Morocco is an independent Arab Kingdom. Previously a French and Spanish Protectorate, it gained its independence in March 1956. Tangier lost its status as a free money market and free trade zone in 1960.

A Constitutional Council of 78 members was appointed towards the end of 1960 and a Basic Law was enacted in June 1961. A permanent Constitution was promulgated on 14 December 1962. The Constitutional Council is composed of six members appointed by the King for a nine-year term, and oversees legislative elections and referendums.

On 8 June 1965, the King proclaimed a state of emergency and appointed himself head of a new cabinet. In 1970, and again in 1971, the King modified the constitution and the changes were approved via referendum. In 1970 a single chamber composed of 240 deputies was created. Of these deputies, 150 were elected by indirect vote through an electoral college. These represented the town councils, the regional assemblies, the chambers of commerce, industry and agriculture and the trade unions. Further revisions were made in 1992 and 1996 again approved by referendum. The 1992 Constitution confirmed the law of primogeniture.

The 1992 Constitution was amended in September 1996 and set up a bicameral parliament (Barlaman) consisting of the Chamber of Representatives (Majlis an-Nuwab) and the Chamber of Councillors (Majlis al-Mustashareen).

Morocco is a constitutional and democratic monarchy in which sovereignty belongs to the nation. The King promulgates legislation and appoints the prime minister. The prime minister appoints the ministers of the Cabinet.

In September 2000 King Mohammed reduced the number of ministers from 41 to 33 and in 2002 he lowered the voting age from 20 to 18.

To consult the full constitution, please visit:
http://www.justice.gov.ma/an/legislation/legislation.aspx?ty=1

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Morocco maintains close relations with Europe and the United States. It is a member of the UN, the Arab Maghreb Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement. Morocco regularly contributes to UN peacekeeping efforts in Africa. Morocco maintains diplomatic contact with Israel, and also has close relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Following the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA, Morocco declared solidarity with the war against terror, and has suffered attacks in Casablanca.
Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara, which has caused strained relations with Algeria (supporters of the Polisario Liberation Front) in the past. The dispute remains the primary impediment to regional integration and development goals. Some differences were overcome when, in August 2004, the Polisario released 404 Moroccan prisoners of war. Morocco presented a proposal for autonomy for Western Sahara within Morocco to the UN Secretary-General on 11 April 2007. Four rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the UN were held in New York, in late 2007 and early 2008.
Approximately 90,000 Sahrawi refugees live in camps around Tindouf, Algeria. Several thousand Sahrawis also live in the Moroccan-controlled area of Western Sahara among a large number of Moroccan settlers.

 

RECENT EVENTS
A referendum on the future of the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, was scheduled for January 1992 under UN auspices but has yet to be held. A ceasefire and settlement plan went into effect in 1991. There is interest in oil exploration in areas offshore of the Western Sahara, but the validity of exploration contracts remains questionable whilst the status of the territory is unsettled.

In February 2003, the Moroccan government jailed three Saudi members of al-Qaeda for plotting to attack US and British warships in the Straits of Gibraltar. On May 16, 2003, Moroccan suicide bombers simultaneously attacked five sites in Casablanca, killing more than 40 people and wounding over 100. More than a million people subsequently demonstrated to condemn the attacks.

A Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. came into effect in July 2004; the United States government considers the Moroccans to be non-Nato allies.

An earthquake at Al Hoceima in the north of the country killed over 500 people early in 2004.
In September 2005, hundreds of African migrants tried to cross the borders of the Spanish territories of Melilla and Ceuta, in an attempt to claim European asylum. Morocco deported hundreds of illegal immigrants thereafter. In January 2006, José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero became the first Spanish PM to visit the territories in 25 years.

In April 2007, a series of suicide bomb attacks occurred in central Casablanca, one taking place near the U.S. consulate general and one near the American Language Center. In the same month, police raided a militant hideout in Casablanca, setting off gunfights and suicide bombings that left at least five men dead. Three of the suspected militants blew themselves up during the police manhunt, and one was shot dead. A police officer died in one of the suicide blasts. The authorities claimed to have foiled a plot to target foreign and strategic interests by suicide bombers. The militants were believed to belong to al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, a group recruited, trained and financed in Algeria.

In June 2007, Morocco and the Polisario Front held talks in New York but failed to come to any agreement over the future of Western Sahara.

In April 2008, nine people convicted of involvement in the Casablanca suicide bombings escaped from a Moroccan prison by tunnelling their way out. The 2003 attacks left 45 people dead, including 12 bombers. A further 40 people were found guilty in October 2008. Two Moroccan men were found guilty of involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings and were sentenced in December 2008.

 

LEGISLATURE

Upper House
The 270 members of the Chamber of Councillors are elected for nine years, renewable in thirds every three years. Two-thirds of the Chamber of Councillors are elected by electoral colleges composed of members of local assemblies and councils, whilst the remaining one-third are elected by professional organisations and representatives of trade unions.

Lower House
The 325 members of the Chamber of Representatives are elected for five years by direct universal suffrage.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Chamber of Councillors, BP 432, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 762707, fax: +2112 37 767726. URL: http://www.parlement.ma
House of Representatives, BP 431, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 762620, fax: +212 37 767726, URL: http://www.majiliss-annouwab.ma

CABINET

(as at March 2010)

Prime Minister: Abbas el-Fassi
Minister of State: Mohamed El Yazghi
Minister of State: Mohand Laenser
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation: Taieb Fassi Fihri
Minister of Habours and Islamic Affairs: Ahmed Toufiq
Minister for Energy, Mines, Water and Environment: Amina Benkhadra
Minister of Economy and Finance: Salaheddine Mezouar
General Secretary of Government: Abdessadek Rabii
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries: Aziz Akhenouch
Minister of Employment and Vocational Training: Jamal Aghmani
Minister of National Education, Higher Education, Staff Training and Scientific Research: Ahmed Akhchichine
Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts: Yassir Znaqui
Minister of Equipment and Transport: Karim Ghellab
Minister of Culture: Driss Lachquer
Minister of Justice: Mohamed Naciri
Minister for Relations with Parliament: Mohammed Saad el-Alami
Minister of Youth and Sport: Moncef Belkhayat
Minister of Communications, Government Spokesman: Khalid Naciri
Minister of Foreign Trade: Abdellatif Maazouz
Minister of Health: Yasima Baddou
Minister of Social Development, Family and Solidarity: Nouzha Skalli
Minister of the Interior: Taib Cherkaoui
Minister of Industry, Trade and New Technologies: Ahmed Reda Chami
Ministry of Housing, Town Planning and Land Management: Ahmed Taoufiq Hejira
Minister Delegate for Moroccans Abroad: Mohammed Ameur
Minister Delegate for Economic and General Affairs: Nizar Barraka
Minister Delegate for National Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research: Latifa Labbida
Minister Delegate for National Defence: Abderrahamane Sbai
Secretary of State for Water and Environment:
Abdelkebir Zahoud
Secretary of State for Handicrafts:
Anis Birou
Secretary of State for the Interior: Saad Hassar
Secretary of State for Primary and Secondary Education: Latifa Labida
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation: Mohmmed Ouzzine
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation: Latifa Akherbach
Secretary of State for Territorial Development: Abdeslam al Mewbahi

Government portal, URL: http://www.pm.gov.ma/
Prime Minister's Office, URL: http://www.pm.gov.ma/ar/index.aspx

 

MINISTRIES

Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Telecommunications, 1 Place Sefrou Hassan, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 201558, fax: +1 212 37 736095, e-mail: webmaster@mcinet.gov.ma, http://www.technologies.gov.ma/index.aspx
Ministry of Economic Planning, Avenue Al Haj Ahmed Cherkaoui, Agdal, BP 826, 10004 Rabat. Tel: +212 37 761415 / 762820, fax: +212 37 660771, e-mail: daoudis@cnd.mpep.gov.ma, URL: http://www.mpep.gov.ma/
Ministry of Finance and Privatisation, Quartier Administratif, Chellah, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 760147 / 760509, URL: http://www.finances.gov.ma/
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 761763, fax: 212 37 764679, e-mail: ministere@maec.gov.ma, URL: http://www.maec.gov.ma/
Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs, Mechouar, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 76 68 01 / 76 60 70, fax: +212 7 765257, e-mail: Webmaster@habous.gov.ma, URL: http://www.habous.gov.ma/ministere/ar/index.htm
Ministry of the Interior, Quartier Administratif, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 765660 / 760526, fax: +212 37 762056
Ministry of Justice, rue Beyrout, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 21589, URL: http://www.justice.gov.ma/
Ministry of Equipment and Transport, Avenue Mohammed V, Quartier administratif, Rabat Chellah, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 68 41 51, URL: http://www.mtpnet.gov.ma/
Ministry of the Modernisation of the Public Sector, 1, Angle Avenue Ibn Sina et Oued Al Makhazine Agdal, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 770894 / 771209, fax: +212 37 778438, minpriv@mtds.com, URL: http://www.minpriv.gov.ma/
Ministry of Country Planning, Water Ressources and Environment, 36, Avenue El Abtal Agdal, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 763539 / 764863, fax: +212 37 763510, e-mail: info@minenv.gov.ma, URL: http://www.minenv.gov.ma/
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Forests, Quartier Administratif. Place Abdellah Chefchaouni, B.P. 607, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 760933, Fax: +212 37 763378, e-mail: webmaster@madrpm.gov.ma, URL: http://www.madrpm.gov.ma/
Ministry of Communications, URL: http://www.mincom.gov.ma/mincom/AR
Ministry of of Employment, Social Development and Solidarity, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 760318 / 761855, fax: +212 37 768881, URL: http://www.social.gov.ma, http://www.sefsas.gov.ma
Ministry of National Education and Youth, Bab Rouah, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 772048 / 774839, fax: +212 37 779001, URL: http://www.men.gov.ma/
Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, 35, Av. Ibn Sina, B.P.707 Agdal, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 682000, fax: +212 37 778028, URL: http://www.dfc.gov.ma/
Ministry of Culture, Rue Ghandi, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 209427, fax: +212 37 708814, URL: http://www.minculture.gov.ma
Ministry of Human Rights, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 673131, fax: +212 37 672018
Ministry of Tourism, Quartier Administratif, Chellah, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 761701, fax: +212 37 761336, URL: http://www.tourisme-marocain.com
Ministry of Health, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 760037 / 660885, fax: +212 37 768401, URL: http://www.sante.gov.ma/
Ministry of Energy and Mining, Rue Abou Marrouane Essadi, Haut Agdal, Rabat. Tel: +212 37 688400, fax: +212 37 688484, e-mail: webmaster@mem.gov.ma, URL: http://www.mem.gov.ma/

ELECTIONS

The most recent election for the Chamber of Representatives took place on 7th September 2007. The conservative Istiqlal party became the largest party by a narrow margin. Prime Minister Driss Jettou resigned and Abbas el Fassi, leader of Istiqlal, was appointed prime minister. He named a new cabinet which included members of Istiqlal, the Popular Movement (MP), the National Rally of Independents (RNI), the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) and independents.

A partial election for the Chamber of Councillors was held on 2 October 2009 for one third of the Councillors.

 

POLITICAL PARTIES

Union socialiste des forces populaires (USFP, Socialist Union of Popular Forces). URL: http://www.usfp.ma/
First Secretary: Mohamed Elyazghi
Union constitutionnelle (UC, Constitutional Union). URL: http://www.unionconstitutionnelle.org/
Secretary General: Mohammed Abied
Rassemblement national des indépendants (RNI, National Union of Independents)
Mouvement populaire (MP, Popular Movement)
Mouvement démocratique et social (MDS, Democratic and Social Movement)
Mouvement national populaire (MNP, National Popular Movement)
Parti national démocrate (PND, National Democratic Party)
Istiqlal (Independence) Party (PI)

 

DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATION

Embassies of Morocco

The Netherlands
Oranjestraat 9
2514 JB Den Haag
Tel: +31 (0)70 3469617
Fax: +31 (0)70 361 45 03
E-mail: info@marokkaanse-ambassade.nl
URL: http://www.ddh.nl/int/overheid/ambass/marokko.html

United Kingdom
Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
49 Queen's Gate Gardens
London SW7 5NE
Tel: +44 (0)20 7581 5001/4
Fax: +44 (0)20 7225 3862
E-mail: mail@sifamaldn.org

United Nations
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations
866 Second Avenue, 6th and 7th Floors
New York, NY 10017
USA
Tel: +1 212 421 1580
Fax: +1 212 980 1512
E-mail: morocco@un.int
URL: http://www.morocco-un.org

United States
Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
1601 21st Street
N.W. Washington, DC 20009
Tel: +1 202 462 7979

Embassies in Morocco

British Embassy
28, avenue S.A.R. Sidi Mohammed
Souissi
Rabat
Morocco
Tel: +212 (0) 37 63 33 33
Fax: +212 (0) 37 758709
E-mail: british@mtds.com
URL: http://www.britain.org.ma

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
40 Rue de Tunis
PO Box 329
Rabat
Tel: +212-37-219600; +212-37-726780
Fax: +212-37-219665; +212-37-733333
E-mail: nlgovrab@mtds.com
URL: www.ambassadepaysbasrabat.org

US Embassy
2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi
Rabat
Tel: +212 37 762265
Fax: +212 37 765661
E-mail: ircrabat@pd.state.gov

URL: http://www.usembassy.ma

 




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