House of Representatives competences
The text of the 2011 Constitution stipulates that both houses of parliament, the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors, have legislative powers, vote on bills, including the Finance Bill, and control the government and evaluate public policies.
Regarding the moroccan parliamentary bicameral system, the House of Representatives has got a forefront role, as the King appoints the head of the government within the political party that has won the biggest number of seats in the elections of the members of the House of Representatives. In the light of these results, the government cannot start its mandate until the House votes on its program after it is presented by the head of the Government to the Parliament.
It is worth noting that the House of Representatives may put the government’s responsibility into question by a vote on a censure motion or confidence vote.
With regard to legislation, the Constitution defines the scope of the law. Both the head of the government and the members of parliament share the legislative initiative. Should a dispute arise between these two components, they shall resort to the Constitutional Court. The head of the government and members of Parliament both have the right to introduce bills.
Government bills are submitted, with precedence, to the Bureau of the House of Representatives, except those pertaining to local authorities, regional development and social issues, which are submitted, with precedence, to the Bureau of the House of Councilors. One day a month, at least, should be devoted to studying the bills, including those submitted by the opposition.
Bills are forwarded to the relevant committees in the House, in order to be discussed and approved. They are then studied and voted upon in the plenary sessions to be forwarded to the House of Councilors. In case of a discrepancy between the versions passed by both houses, the house of Representatives adopts ultimately the text under consideration.
As for control, Standing Committees in the House of Representatives may ask to question officials from public departments, institutions and companies, in the presence of the ministers concerned, and under their responsibility. The House of Representatives may also form adhoc fact-finding committees which prepare reports about the matters they were set up for. These reports are then discussed during plenary sessions and decided upon. And if need be, these reports may be referred to the judiciary by the President of the House.
Weekly public sessions are devoted to oral questions. The government answers these questions, while the head of the government answers those relating to public policies. These sessions take place once a month. Written questions allow deputies to follow up issues of a local nature.
The head of the government presents the progress of the government’s work before the parliament. The parliament devotes a yearly session to discuss and evaluates public policies.
Under the new constitution, a number of constitutional institutions and bodies have become obliged to submit a report on its work once a year at least, which is then discussed by Parliament.