Monday, August 24, 2015

Morocco's Upcoming Communal and Municipal Elections

Morocco's communal and municipal elections are scheduled to begin on September 4, while elections for members of the advisors' council, parliament's second chamber, are scheduled for October 2

The elections will be monitored by around 4,000 observers including 76 international observers accredited by the Special Commission For Accreditation of Observers. The international observers include a  Canadian diplomatic mission as well as representatives from Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A delegation of the European Union, in Morocco since August 15 until September 14, will assess the entire election process.

Following the elections can be confusing, as there are 130,925 candidates representing 29 different parties standing for 31,503 communal seats, an average of more than 4 candidates for each seat. 7,588 candidates are standing for regional elections.

According to HM King Mohammed VI, the coming elections will be crucial for the future of Morocco, given the extensive powers granted by the Constitution and the law to regional councils and local communities.

In a speech delivered last Thursday on the 62nd anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, the King said that citizens have the right to know everything about the institutions serving them, so that they may make the right decision and the right choice.

HM the King pointed out while that the Government is responsible for implementing laws, developing public policies, drawing up sectoral plans and is responsible for public administration, it is not responsible for the quality of services provided by elected councils.

His Majesty stressed that, contrary to what some citizens think, members of Parliament have nothing to do with the management of local affairs. Their duty is to propose, discuss and pass laws, monitor Government action and assess public policies. Citizens have to be aware that the people in charge of these social and administrative services, which they need in their everyday life, are the people they voted for in their community or region.

HM the King noted that if many citizens take only scant interest in elections and do not participate in them, it is because some elected officials do not fulfil their duties properly, the sovereign said. He emphasised that elected officials must work hard on a daily basis and make extra efforts, since they are in charge of other peoples' interests, not their own.

The Monarch explained that votes should not go to those who speak more or louder than others and repeat empty slogans; nor should they go to those who hand out a few dirhams during electoral campaigns and sell false promises to the citizens, but rather to competent, credible candidates, who are committed to serving the public good.
"As our country prepares to embark on a new revolution, the implementation of the advanced regionalisation plan will be the cornerstone of Morocco's unity and territorial integrity and will help us achieve social solidarity, as well as balance and complementarity between regions" - Hm King Mohammed VI
Since every era is determined by its men and women, the coming revolution will need honest elected representatives whose main concern is to serve the nation and the citizens who voted for them, HM the King said.

HM King Mohammed VI pointed out that a good election candidate is the one who does not:

– Work for his own benefit and aim to hold senior positions. Every day he should serve the citizens' best interest. He should therefore be available.

– Raise his voice louder than the others, because this kind of person is not necessarily the one who has the stronger words. In other words, the election candidate must be competent.

– Sell false promises. In political communication theories, the credibility of the candidate is measured by the distance between his ‘expression’ and ‘action’. The more this distance is reduced, the more the candidate holds to his promises. People are interested in deeds, not words. His experience gives an idea of his credibility.

– Exploit political funds. By giving or receiving money, the candidate is corrupt even before he runs in elections. The candidate must be honest, having a mission 'above all' to serve his country and citizens who gave him their votes.

– Throw all the responsibility of administrative and social services on the parliament or the government. “Some of them, however, think that their mission starts and ends with registering as candidates. Once they are elected, they disappear for years, only to show up at the following poll,” said the sovereign. The candidate should be responsible.

“Voting is a power in the hands of citizens. I would like to say this: voting is a right and a national duty, a major responsibility that has to be shouldered. It is a tool in your hands; you either use it to change the daily management of your affairs or to maintain the status quo, good or bad,” explained the sovereign.

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