Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Moroccan Case for Independent Constitutional Authorship

Lorianne Updike Toler

In gradeschool, I often was required to hand my homework or test over to the individual across, behind, or in front of me.  Even though this system sometimes provided for embarrassment in unprepared students, it ensured fairness in making edits and corrections.

When an institution's work or powers needs to be checked, who is best-suited to correct it?  The institution themselves, or another?

In Morocco, King Mohammed VI anticipated a revolution by proposing a new constitution, voted on by the people on Friday, July 1.  Yesterday it was announced that 98% of the Moroccan people voted in favor of the constitution, which will result in the establishment of a Parliament with legislative authority.

Yet Twitter was a flurry on Friday with reports of underhandedness at the polls and over-reporting.  For instance, Rmidicitizen tweeted, "testimony: some voters are given only the paper saying YES, the one saying NO given only to those who seem educated."

Another pollwatcher, houdac, said "2h to go-48% participation at 16h local time."  Still another tweet from arabist indicated that by 3:00 p.m. Moroccan time, only 24% of the popular neighborhood of Rabat, Yaacoub al-Mansour, had voted.

In response to the announcement of overwhelming support for the new constitution, the streets in Morocco were full of protestors yesterday--both against the constitution, and against the agitators.  Watch this video depicting the two sides:

Many are claiming the King of Morocco has sent a compelling message to Arab sovereigns in how to respond to Arab Spring uprisings while keeping one's crown.  Yet perhaps the protests highlight the kinds of problems that children--and kings--encounter when correcting their own work.

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