King Mohammed VI to the Moroccan People: Vote

King Urges Participation in Elections to Prepare for Regionalization

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - August 21, 2015) - In a speech addressed to the nation on Thursday, King Mohammed VI referred to Morocco's planned "regionalization" -- or the devolution of power to local governments -- as a "new revolution," and urged citizens to participate in the upcoming elections to ensure its success. The speech marked the 62nd anniversary of the King and People's Revolution Day, which commemorates the exile of Morocco's Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Yusef by French colonial powers -- a move that proved to be a turning point in Moroccans' mobilization for independence.

"This is an annual opportunity to seek guidance from the values of sacrifice and patriotism embraced by the generation that fought for the independence and freedom of the nation," said the King, "particularly at this moment in time, as our country prepares to embark on a new revolution."

Referring to "the implementation of the advanced regionalization," the King explained that "the coming revolution will need honest elected representatives whose main concern is to serve the nation and the citizens who voted for them."

King Mohammed continued by briefly describing "The mission and role incumbent upon each and every institution and the impact it is set to have on the lives of citizens… so that they may make the right decision and the right choice."

"…Voting is a right and a national duty, a major responsibility that has to be shouldered," said the King. "It is a tool in your hands…. In short, the citizens' power to protect their interests, find solutions to some of their problems, hold their representatives accountable and replace them, can be summarized in one word: 'vote.'"

The King also seized the opportunity to remind candidates and political parties that "the purpose sought from elections is not to hold senior positions, but to serve the citizens."

Noting, in this regard, that "serving the citizens [is] the ultimate goal of all national policies," the King also acknowledged "citizens' security and safety as a top concern," and described how "Morocco has had to take a series of preventive measures in order to protect its security and stability" in the face of "the rise of religious extremism and the proliferation of terrorist groups" in the region. He cited the need to "abide by Moroccan laws and respect sacred national and religious values, mainly the Sunni Maliki rite."

The King stressed that "extremism can only be fought through a participatory approach, based on the promotion of the values of openness and tolerance embraced by Moroccans, and the combination of social, development, religious and educational dimensions…."

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

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Jordana Merran