Morocco's monarch keen on reform

June 22, 2011 at 10:32 AM
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CASABLANCA, Morocco, June 22 (UPI) -- Morocco said it was following through with key constitutional reforms just two weeks after thousands of people took to the streets in protest of the monarchy.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI unveiled a series of constitutional reforms that are said to strengthen democratic institutions.

Kenneth Pollack, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, praised the developments.

"It will be the model of what meaningful, gradual, peaceful change in the Arab world could and should look like," he said in a statement.

The Moroccan king announced in March that the government was willing to protect political freedoms and undertake reforms to address protesters' demands.

Up to 60,000 people took part in June 6 anti-government protests in Morocco, however, with large crowds gathering in Casablanca and Rabat.

Protesters were seen carrying posters of Kamal Amari, who died in early June from wounds he suffered May 29 during clashes with police in Safi, about 200 miles south of Rabat.

The constitutional amendments will be voted on July 1 in a general referendum.

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