U.N. hails Moroccan reform plans

June 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, June 23 (UPI) -- The people and the government of Morocco are praised for their efforts that led to proposals for constitutional reform, the U.N. secretary-general said.

King Mohammed VI last week announced constitutional reforms that would empower an elected Parliament, create an independent judiciary and provide more rights from women. It would also strengthen the position of the monarch.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement issued through his spokesman said the reform initiative was welcome.

"The constructive role of all national stakeholders, in particular the youth is important, as it is for them to continue to engage in the ongoing process through dialogue and without violence," his statement read.

Critics complain some of the proposed reforms only make the king stronger.

The king in March said his government was willing to undertake reforms to address the demands of the people. As many as 60,000 people were in the streets taking part in anti-government demonstrations in early June, however.

The constitutional measures go before a national referendum scheduled July 1.

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