14 octobre 2006

Mohammed VI called for transparent elections

Rabat, Oct. 13 - King Mohammed VI of Morocco on Friday urged the government to pursue its action to provide all possible guarantees for open, transparent elections, while voicing determination to forge ahead with democracy, in a speech to Parliament that opened its 'fall session' after recess.

" I urge the government to pursue its action to provide all possible guarantees for open, transparent elections," the monarch told the two houses of parliament in a televised speech.He invited all the parties concerned to "contribute effectively to the transparency and fairness of the elections, to transcend electoral outbidding tactics, and to avoid vote buying and influence peddling." "I also urge them to ensure that the citizens’ and the nation’s interests, not personal or partisan considerations, prevail.

"Moroccan authorities have, in an unprecedented move, arrested Sixty-seven people, including 12 members of the 270-seat House of Advisors (upper house) and five MPs from the 325-seat House of Representatives (lower house) following the September 8 elections to renew one third of the upper house. They were arrested on fraud and corruption charges and brought before justice.In his speech, the monarch also voiced his determination to “forge ahead with this irreversible, democratic approach, especially as the nation is steadfastly committed to the fundamental, immutable pledges of which I am the guarantor, and which are not affected by transient events, or shifts in majority.“ After recalling the “in-depth political reforms” that were introduced to enhance the rule of law in Morocco, King Mohammed VI said his country has become a model in the area of democratic development.

“I shall remain steadfast in my determination to establish all the mechanisms needed to revitalize and upgrade our institutions.” He however made it clear that there is “no ready-made recipe for true democracy”, for he explained, not only are democratic systems built gradually, but they require strong commitment, courage and selflessness. “They are essentially based on the citizens' participation, on the credibility of the nation’s institutions, and on the latter's ability to consolidate good governance and achieve human development."Tackling the 2007 elections, the monarch, insisted that voters are not expected to simply cast a vote; nor supposed to limit the political process to the moment they cast that vote, or view politics as the exclusive domain of political parties and the political elite.

”What is needed is strong, continuous involvement in political life, through democratic institutions and active participation in development projects.”He finally called upon political institutions, as they prepare for the next general election, to “respect voters, to be as open and honest with them as possible, and to propose the right candidates who are worthy of representing people (…)”.