The Kingdom of Morocco / Political System
“True to the irreversible choice it has made to build a democratic State based on the rule of law, the Kingdom of Morocco resolutely continues the process of consolidating and strengthening the institutions of a modern State, on the basis of the principles of participation, pluralism and good governance. It seeks to build an inclusive society, in which all citizens enjoy security, freedom, equal opportunity, respect for their dignity, in addition to social justice, within the framework of the intrinsic relationship between the rights and duties of citizenship.
As a fully sovereign Muslim State committed to its national unity and territorial integrity, the Kingdom of Morocco shall seek to preserve its diverse, indivisible national identity. Its unity, which is built on the convergence of its Arab-Islamic, Amazigh and Saharan-Hassani components, is nurtured and enriched by African, Andalusian, Hebraic and Mediterranean constituents. The prominence given to the Islamic religion in the national frame of reference goes hand in hand with the commitment of the Moroccan people to the values of openness, moderation, tolerance and dialogue for the promotion of mutual understanding among all cultures and civilizations.
As an active member of international organizations, the Kingdom of Morocco, aware of the need to strengthen its role in the international arena, pledges to subscribe to the principles, rights and duties stipulated in the respective charters and conventions of these organizations. It reaffirms its commitment to human rights as they are universally recognized, as well as its determination to continue to endeavour for the preservation of world peace and security.” - The Preamble of the Moroccan Constitution.
With it its roots and historical legitimacy going back twelve centuries, the Monarchy in Morocco can claim, rightly, a real influence over national public life in its two dimensions, temporal and spiritual. This implies the role of this institution throughout the eight dynasties that succeeded in Morocco, from the Idrissids to Alawites.
Its role has been variously emphasized and codified in the constitutions of 1962, 1970, 1972, 1992 and 1996, and it is now called, according to the new Constitution of 2011, a “citizenship-based monarchy”, guarantor of the nation’s fundamentals. Hence, the significance of the two-key elements in this 2011 constitution:
- The deletion of any reference to the sacredness of the king's person, substituting it by the more modern notion of inviolability and respect due to the Sovereign, (Article 46).
- The explicit and detailed codification of the King’s powers, as Commander of the Faithful (Amir Al Mouminine), in charge of religious matters (Article 41) and as Head of State, symbol of the unity of the nation, guarantor of the permanence and continuity of the State, ultimate arbiter between institutions, and protector of the nation’s democratic options (article 42).
The Government consists of the Prime Minister and Ministers. The Government is responsible before both the King and Parliament.
After the Government’s nomination by the King, the Prime Minister lays out his agenda before both Houses. This agenda should clearly outline the action that the Government intends to undertake in the various fields of national activity namely those related to economic, social, cultural and foreign affairs policies. This agenda is then debated by both Houses. In the House of Representatives, it is followed by a vote as provided in the second and third paragraphs of Article 75 and with the effect shown in the last paragraph of that article. (Art. 60)
Under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, the Government ensures the execution of the laws and disposes administration. (art.61)
Moroccan Parliament is composed of two Houses, whose members hold their mandate from the nation. The 395-member House of Representatives (Majlis al-Nuwwab) are elected by direct public vote for a five-year term of office, and the 120-member House of Counsellors (Majlis al-Mustasharin) are indirectly elected for a nine-year term of office.
305 of the members of the House of Representatives are elected in electoral districts that are improvised for the occasion, and 90 members are elected at the national level for seats that the political parties participating in elections agreed to allocate to women and youth.
Members of the House of Counsellors are indirectly elected by local and national electoral colleges consisting of local councils, professional associations, and trade unions. One-third of the House of Counsellors is renewed every three years.
Parliament has two annual sessions, and special sessions can be called, under the Constitution, at the request of an absolute majority of one of the Houses or the Government.
The meetings are public and each room establishes its rules and procedures. In compliance with the Constitution, those rules and procedures are systematically controlled by the Constitutional Council.
The President of the House of Representatives is elected at the beginning of the term of office then again at the begging of the April session of the third year of that term, whereas the President of the House of Counsellors is elected at the beginning of the October session and during each renewal of the House.
The Parliament operates in the areas of legislative fields and oversight of Government actions.
According to article 82 of the Constitution, the Judiciary shall be independent from the Legislative and Executive powers.
Sentences shall be passed and executed in the King's name (Article 83).
Upon recommendations made by the Supreme Council of Magistracy, Magistrates shall be appointed by Royal Decrees (Article 84). Magistrates appointed to the bench shall be irremovable (Article 85).
The Supreme Council of Magistracy, which is presided over by the King, shall ensure the implementation of the guarantees granted to magistrates regarding their promotion and discipline (Article 87).
a - Common Law Jurisdictions:
- 837 Communal and District courts;
- 68 first instance courts;
- 21 Appeals courts;
- Supreme Court.
b - Specialized Jurisdictions:
7 Administrative Tribunals;
8 Trade Tribunals;
3 Trade Appeals Courts;
The High Court (article 88 of the Constitution).
The Permanent Military Tribunal of the Royal Armed Forces:
c - Exceptional Jurisdictions.
Article one of the 1-74-388 Law issued on Joumada II 24, 1394 (July 15, 1974) determines the judicial organisation of the Kingdom as follows:
The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
799 Cnr Schoeman / Farenden Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0007, South Africa
Contact the Embassy
PO Box 12382, 0083, Arcadia, Pretoria, South Africa
+27 (12) 343 0230
+27 (12) 343 0613
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