Morocco Political System

Morocco Political System

Form of government

According to the constitution of July 1, 2011, Morocco is a constitutional, democratic and social hereditary monarchy, with direct male succession and Islam as the state religion. Contrary to the basic democratic principle of the separation of powers, the king ultimately controls the executive, the judiciary and, in some cases, the legislative branch. The powers of the king according to Article 41 ff. Of the current constitution of July 1st, 2011 are as follows:

  • “Amir Al Mu’minin” (Commander of the Believers)
  • Chairman of the High Council of Oulema (Religious Scholars)
  • Chairman of the Council of Ministers / Cabinet
  • Right to dissolve both houses of parliament
  • Appointment of the “Président du Gouvernement” (Prime Minister, Head of Government)
  • Supreme Commander of the Army
  • Chairman of the National Security Cabinet
  • Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council (Conseil supérieur du pouvoir judiciaire)

The king

The king is at the center of power, surrounded by selected advisers. He gives the guidelines of politics in the context of periodic speeches from the throne (Discours du Thrône). The Prime Minister (in Morocco “Président du Gouvernement”) has no authority to issue guidelines. Recourse to Islam and Islamic symbolism, for example through the so-called “ Bay’a ”, is elementary for the legitimation of this abundance of power”. In early Islam, it was understood to be an oath of allegiance that the first believers swore to the new prophet Muhammad. In Morocco today the highest officials of the state and the members of parliament compete for the “Bay’a” once a year. The king is witnessed to obedience with a kiss on the hand and a deep servant. These rituals may seem archaic from a Western point of view – the religiously legitimized monarchy definitely finds supporters among the Moroccan intellectual elite.

The current king is Mohammed VI, the heir to the throne is his eldest son, Crown Prince Hassan (born May 8, 2003). Second in line to the throne is Mohammed VI’s brother, Moulay Rachid. The king’s second child, daughter Khadidja, was born in 2007. She is excluded from the line of succession because of her gender. The king’s wife is not queen in Morocco. Rather, she bears the title of a princess and is popularly referred to as “Lalla”. King Mohammed VI first and so far only wife, the civil IT engineer Salma Bennani, is popularly known as “Lalla Salma”. She is the mother of the heir to the throne Hassan III. and his sister Khadidja.Salma Bennani was present in the Moroccan public until the end of 2017, but then suddenly disappeared from the scene. Her disappearance from the public raised many questions. In the meantime, Salma Bennani has reappeared, and it is certain that she was killed by King Mohammed VI is divorced.

Morocco King

Ministries of Sovereignty

According to constructmaterials, some key ministries in Morocco are outside the control of the Parliament and the Prime Minister. The following departments, as so-called “Ministries of Sovereignty” (Ministères de Souveraineté), continue to be staffed directly by the King or are directly under his control:

  • Interior
  • Exterior
  • Defense
  • Religious Affairs and Foundations

The prime minister

Since the constitutional reform of July 1, 2011, the prime minister is no longer chosen and appointed by the king entirely on his own authority, but must belong to the strongest party in parliament. The Président du Gouvernement is formally responsible for appointing and dismissing ministers (exception: ministers of defense). The formal appointment of provincial governors and ambassadors has also been his area of responsibility since July 1, 2011.

Parliament

The parties and the elected representatives are of little importance for political identity in Morocco. They have little credibility. They are accused of opportunism and corruptibility.

The Moroccan Parliament consists of two chambers:

  • House of Commons (Chambre des Représentants, madschliss an-nuwwab)
  • House of Lords (Chambre des conseillers, madschliss al mustascharin)

The members of the lower house (Chambre des Représentants) are re-elected every five years in direct general elections (most recent election: 07.10.2016) . The lower house consists of 395 MPs. In accordance with a statutory quota, at least 12% of MPs are women. The active right to vote applies from the age of 18, the passive right to vote from 21 years of age (since 2015).

The House of Lords (Chambre des Conseillers)In accordance with Article 63 of the Constitution of July 1, 2011, it consists of a minimum of 90 and a maximum of 120 members who are elected in indirect elections for a period of six years. The composition of the House of Lords follows a complex scheme: Two fifths of the members are elected by electoral assemblies in which representatives from professional associations, employers’ associations and employee representatives sit. Three fifths of the members are elected by bodies made up of representatives from the 12 regions. The number of representatives per region depends on the size of the population and the importance of the region. At the regional level, one third of the MPs is elected directly from the ranks of the so-called “Conseils Régionaux”, as the regional representatives in Morocco are called (in Germany roughly like the state parliament).

Parliament has the following tasks:

  • Passing laws
  • Ratification of decrees of the king (dahir)
  • Legislative initiatives are largely reserved for the king and the government president (ex prime minister)
  • The government and parliament are advised by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE).

Military

The Moroccan army comprises around 300,000 active members, plus another 200,000 reservists. Morocco introduced military service in 1966 and abolished it in 2006. In December 2018, it was decided to reintroduce compulsory service. Men and women between the ages of 16 and 24 are to serve for 12 months.