My address to you today will concern the launching of the next phase of the advanced regionalization process, the impact such a development can have in terms of strengthening our democratic development model and the substantial revision of the Constitution it implies. The latter should serve as the cornerstone of the new, comprehensive reforms I intend to initiate, as part of the continuing interaction with all of the nation’s stakeholders.
I personally consider that Morocco is in a position today to start enshrining advanced regionalization in the Constitution.
I have opted for this confident, forward-looking initiative to make sure broad regionalization will stem from the direct free will of the people, through a constitutional referendum.
Ever since my accession to the Throne, I have sought to bring about the right conditions for thorough institutional reform. Accordingly, I have decided that the constitutionalization of regionalization should be based on several key guidelines, including the following:
- Give the region its rightful place in the Constitution as a territorial entity, within the framework of the unity of the State, the nation and the territory, keeping in mind the requirements of balance and national solidarity at inter- and intraregional levels;
- Stipulate that regional councils shall be elected through direct universal suffrage, and that regional affairs shall be run in accordance with democratic principles;
- Empower the presidents of regional councils - instead of governors and walis - to implement council decisions;
- Promote the participation of women in the management of regional affairs in particular, and the exercise of political rights in general; in this respect, the law should favour equal access by women and men to elected office;
- Review the composition and powers of the House of Councillors thoroughly and in such a way as to enhance the regions’ representation in the House. As regards the representation of trade unions and professional organizations, it remains guaranteed by several institutions, particularly the Economic and Social Council, the aim being to rationalize the performance of institutional bodies.
Our ultimate objective is to strengthen the foundations for a Moroccan regionalization system throughout the Kingdom, particularly in the Moroccan Sahara provinces. It should be based on good governance which guarantees a new, more equitable system for sharing not only powers, but also resources between the central authority and the regions.
What I do not want is a ‘two-speed’ regionalization, with fortunate regions that have the resources required for their progress on the one hand, and underprivileged regions lacking the requisites for development, on the other.
To ensure the efficiency of the regionalization process, I have decided that it should be part of a comprehensive constitutional reform which is designed to upgrade and revamp state institutions.
Message of HM the King Mohammed VI,