Royal speeches

Oct.14.2011. HM King Mohammed VI gives speech at the opening of parliament

> 13/10/2011

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

This opening of Parliament is taking place at an important juncture in our history, when our country is starting to implement the new Constitution and to set up the bodies it provides for, particularly Parliament and the Government.

This is no ordinary session I am presiding over. It is a key moment which marks the launch of the first legislative session under the new Constitution and is the beginning of a historic phase in Morocco’s evolution as we seek to promote democracy and press ahead with development efforts.

All stakeholders involved in the current crucial changes are therefore called upon to shoulder their responsibilities. They have to remain committed to ensuring the success of the forthcoming general elections, and to upholding transparency, in a spirit of confidence, openness and sincere patriotism.

The major changes brought about by the Constitution must lead to new, credible democratic institutions as well as to the emergence of qualified elites, efficient political action and concrete, development-oriented endeavors that ensure a dignified life for all our citizens, especially disadvantaged groups and our ambitious young people.

This is the right way to restore confidence in political action and to enhance the performance of institutions, making them worthy of the advanced status conferred upon them by the Constitution. New political practices are therefore required. They should be based on efficiency, coherence and institutional stability. We have to make sure each power plays its role, in accordance with the principle of the separation of powers, balance and cooperation between these powers.

As part of my constitutional duties regarding the proper functioning of institutions and the preservation of the nation’s democratic choices, I intend to see to it that the new institutions reflect not only the letter and spirit of the Constitution, but also our collective ambition to have efficient parliamentary and executive institutions based on:

  • a strong Parliament which reflects the free will of the people, which exercises its exclusive oversight and legislative powers, and which plays an effective diplomatic role in serving the nation’s just causes, particularly that of our territorial integrity;
  • an efficient Government, which stems from a cohesive, closely-knit parliamentary majority, which exercises, together with the Head of Government, all of its executive powers, and which shoulders its responsibilities in terms of drawing up and implementing its program and responding to priorities through efficient, coherent public policies.

In democratic systems, the exercise of power is based as much on majority rule and the rule of law, as on the constructive participation of the parliamentary opposition. I am convinced, in this respect, that proper implementation of the provisions on parliamentary opposition can make the opposition a dependable supervisory authority as well as a powerhouse of constructive proposals.

The credibility of political institutions would remain purely formal if these bodies did not act as powerful levers for the achievement of economic progress, social cohesion and cultural creativity.

This is precisely what makes the originality of the Moroccan model: it is based on a close correlation between democracy and development, on an advanced, innovative governance system, on constant interaction with the dynamic components of the Moroccan society, as well as on adjustment to changes that are occurring at regional and international levels. It is a governance system for which we have opted of our own free will; it reflects a steadfast commitment to collective action and an open attitude towards the changes affecting the world.

This policy has enabled Morocco to accomplish a great deal, to introduce major reforms and to address the effects of a complex global economic and financial situation. The successive crises which have affected the world require continued vigilance and determined, rational action.

Despite our accomplishments, there is no room for complacency. In fact, we have to strive doubly hard to consolidate our democratic, development-oriented model. It is a model which derives its strength not so much from efforts to build on accomplishments and to press ahead with major development projects, but from diligent, relentless action to remove obstacles, to correct malfunctions as they arise, and to initiate the bold, thorough reforms required by the profound changes around us.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

Given the national, regional and international environment, we have to keep in mind the great challenges facing the next legislature, at institutional level as well as in the area of development. All dynamic forces in society and all political actors must rise to these challenges in their respective fields of competence, particularly Parliament and the Government.

As regards institutional challenges, we have to complete the implementation of the Constitution by adopting the necessary organic laws. This is a real test as far as the promising democratic prospects allowed by the new Constitution are concerned. It means the new legislative session will actually be a founding session.

Other challenges concern the revamping of political parties since, without such an exercise, there can be no genuine democracy. Our aim is to bring about a streamlined, efficient political landscape.

Similarly, ensuring the actual participation of citizens in political life - a goal now enshrined in the Constitution - hinges on the active involvement of the new players concerned: the citizens, civil society, trade unions, the nation’s productive forces and the media. They should be constructive partners in the development, implementation and assessment of public policies, development projects and legislative proposals.

The greatest institutional challenge upon which depend our nation’s progress and modernization is the reform and revitalization of State structures.

In this respect, advanced regionalization is one of Morocco’s strategic projects, both now and for the future. Not only is there a close link between regionalization and the formation of the House of Councilors, but regionalization has many advantages in terms of devolved administration, good local governance and closeness to citizens’ needs. It also offers promising prospects for the achievement of sustainable, balanced and solidarity-based human social and economic development.

Independence of the judiciary should be consolidated for the same purpose. The establishment of the Higher Council of the Judiciary and of the Constitutional Court, and the pursuit of a thorough, comprehensive reform of the judicial system should help achieve that objective, thereby reaffirming the primacy of the Constitution, of the rule of law and of equality of all before the law, in addition to guaranteeing judicial security.

Furthermore, democratizing the State and society and improving the business environment require not only compliance with the rules of good governance, but also the implementation of the principles and mechanisms provided by the Constitution. One of the most important provisions in this regard is the close link between holding public office, accountability and the moralization of public life. To achieve these objectives, all forms of corruption, bribery, rent-seeking and political monopoly must be combated. Conversely, we have to promote equal opportunity, private enterprise and free competition.

As regards development challenges, and as far as the working classes are concerned, the real test for the efficiency of institutions consists in their ability to make a qualitative leap in improving human development indicators.

This should be achieved mainly through bold reforms and concrete accomplishments, focusing on incentives for productive investment that creates jobs, provides decent housing, increases access to healthcare coverage, preserves the environment, ensures good education - via a thorough reform of the education and training system - and promotes active involvement in the innovation and knowledge economy, which is the key to Morocco’s progress.

The achievement of social justice and regional equality hinges on the success of social policies to combat poverty, exclusion and marginalization. It is also contingent on the expansion of the middle class, the promotion of gender equality, special emphasis being put on rural areas as well as remote, mountainous and isolated zones, and on the development of an advanced social charter.

Given the pressing, ever-growing social needs and the constraints in terms of available financial resources, stepping up efforts to modernize the national economy, to make it more open and more competitive,  and to ensure strong, sustainable growth is one of the greatest challenges we have to meet in order to make Morocco a developed country.

This requires good management of development policies to ensure optimum implementation of sector-based plans. The major projects under way need to be continued, while preserving not only major macroeconomic balance - a concern which is now enshrined in the Constitution - but also social balance; both are essential to progress and to social cohesion and stability.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

By referring to some of the major political and development challenges faced, my aim is not to provide ready-made answers.

Finding effective solutions to these challenges in this election period will naturally depend on the ability of committed political parties to shoulder their political responsibilities and present clear, distinct social projects, in the form of rigorous, efficient and realistic programs. The latter should focus on the actual expectations of current and future generations, as the aim is to help the citizen choose freely those who have the ability and the competence to implement these programs.

Under the new Constitution, and once parliamentary election results have been proclaimed, it will be mostly up to the Government and Parliament to rise to those challenges, given the full executive and legislative powers they now have.

Hence, the government which will emerge from the majority in the next House of Representatives will be tasked with developing and implementing a specific, ambitious program, with clear priorities, objectives, funding sources as well as execution and assessment mechanisms.

As for the parliamentary opposition, it is expected to play a constructive role in terms of control and oversight.

To tackle these and other challenges which are of crucial importance, both now and for the future of our country, all of the nation’s forces and all our institutions must pool their efforts. Our country needs all its sons, here and abroad, who are expected to make effective contributions to reinforcing the nation’s unity, and promoting democracy, dignity, progress and solidarity.

I can think of no other mission more stimulating than this one.

"Our Lord! Bestow on us Mercy from Yourself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!"   True is the Word of God.

Wasslamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."