RABAT: Morocco’s King Mohammed VI will address the nation on Friday, the palace announced, in a speech expected to unveil proposed changes to the constitution as demanded by pro-reform protesters.
The evening address would be broadcast on national radio and television, the palace said in a statement on Thursday.
It did not say what the king would speak about but an official source said on condition of anonymity that he would outline the proposed amendments handed to him a week ago by a commission he appointed in March to look into reform.
“The king is going to present the broad lines of the constitutional revision which has been submitted to political parties and will be made public after the speech,” the source said.
He “will also call for a ‘yes’ vote for the plan to revise the current constitution,” the source said.
The proposals are expected to be put to a referendum early July.
They notably foresee a reduction in the powers of the king in favour of a prime minister.
The reforms are intended to transform the country’s political system into a constitution as demanded by the Feb.20 Movement named after the date of its first nationwide demonstration.
A member of the panel that worked on the proposals said last week that they include a major transfer of powers from Mohammed VI to a prime minister and the independence of the judiciary. They also foresee indigenous Berber becoming an official language alongside Arabic, the commission member said on condition of anonymity.
This would be a first in the Maghreb region that includes Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia, he said.
Mohammed VI announced on March 9 that he was prepared to allow major constitutional reforms and appointed a commission to draw up proposed changes.