Moroccan activists issue ultimatum demanding democratic constitution.
A group on social networking website Facebook has gathered hundreds of followers for a Feb. 20 protest meant to restore "the dignity of the Moroccan people and (press) for democratic and constitutional reform and the dissolution of parliament". Moroccan officials could not be reached for comment. The government says Morocco is irreversibly committed to democracy and that efforts to alleviate poverty and create jobs have made progress under King Mohammed.
State-controlled television in Morocco has reported the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt with restraint, but many cafes have been tuning in to the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, which has covered the uprisings extensively in real time. Moroccan media, including the official MAP news agency, have reported few attempts at self-immolation, apparently inspired by the fruit seller public suicide triggered the Tunisian protests. No one was reported to have died in these attempts.
Justice and Charity said the constitution should be replaced by "a democratic one to mark a break with all aspects of autocracy ... and monopolization of authority and national wealth and preserves the human dignity of the Moroccan citizen". It also demanded an end of what it called the "Benalisation" of politics and the economy in Morocco, a reference to the authoritarian rule and nepotism of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, ousted last month after 23 years in power.
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|Publication:||The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)|
|Date:||Feb 8, 2011|
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