King Mohammed VI: ‘Political Life Is Not Meant To Be Centered On Individuals But On Institutions’ – Speech


On October 9, King Mohammed VI delivered a speech before both houses of the parliament at the opening of the first session of the fifth legislative year of the 9th legislature. On this occasion, the Sovereign delivered a speech before the members of the Parliament’s two houses (the House of Representatives and the House of Advisors).

Here follows the full text of the royal speech:

Praise be to God

May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

It gives me pleasure to inaugurate the fifth year of this parliamentary term. The state opening of Parliament provides me with an opportunity each year to speak to the nation’s representatives about various issues of national significance.

This legislative year is particularly important. It is the last one in the current term, and the setting up of a number of constitutional institutions has to be completed.

It is convening after the first local and regional elections held under the new Constitution and also after the setting up of the House of Counselors in its new composition.

I should like, in this respect, to congratulate the members of the House of Counselors, the presidents of regional and local councils and all elected representatives on the trust placed in them. I pray that Almighty God grant them every success in their mission.

However, this does not mean everything is over and done with. Indeed, elections are not an end in themselves, but rather the real start of a long process which begins with setting up institutions and conferring legitimacy upon them.

Representing the citizens is a great responsibility. It must be shouldered by elected officials and political parties alike – by honoring the commitments they made to the citizens and by seeking to respond to their pressing concerns.

But it is also a national responsibility. It requires us – all of us – to rise to this historic moment in the life of the nation.

We have no choice but to set up efficient regional institutions so that Morocco does not miss out on this historic opportunity.

It is important to remember that political life is not meant to be centered on individuals but rather on institutions.

Regardless of who they are, individuals will one day cease to exist, unlike institutions. The latter are the ones that actually guarantee that citizens’ rights will be respected and that the services they need will be provided to them. As such, institutions cannot be held hostage to individuals or to their whims.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

The citizens have made their choice and I should like, from this rostrum, to send out a message to the candidates who were not elected this time.

I wish to tell them not to lose hope and to be proud of the services they have provided to the nation and the citizens.

They should realize that Moroccans have matured when it comes to elections – that they have become increasingly strict and now hold elected officials to account for their action.

They should also embark on constructive self-criticism to correct mistakes, redress what needs to be redressed and engage in hard work – starting from today – in order to win voters’ confidence for future elections.

This is the lesson of real democracy. Democracy involves alternation in the exercise of power and in the management of public affairs. And he or she who has not won today may well be voted in tomorrow.

Having said that, lamenting the past or throwing false accusations at the authorities in charge of elections are not acceptable.

The guarantees given in connection with the electoral process are not any different from those in the most democratic systems in the world. In fact, few countries provide the guarantees which we offered.

Needless to say, whoever considers that he or she has been the victim of injustice – because of some isolated infringements that sometimes happen in the democratic process – can refer the matter to the courts.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

I was indeed proud to note that, in the last elections, there was a high voter turnout in our southern provinces.

This is further democratic proof that the sons and daughters of the Sahara are deeply committed to their country’s territorial integrity and political system, and that they are keen to be effectively involved in the nation’s institutions.

I would like to stress, in this respect, that the democratic legitimacy freely conferred by the citizens upon the officials who were elected there makes them the true representatives of the inhabitants of the Moroccan Sahara – not a minority who reside abroad and who are under the illusion that they can be self-proclaimed representatives, without any basis for their allegations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

The Constitution has given the House of Counselors a special position in the nation’s institutional setup, enabling it to provide complementarity and balance with the House of Representatives.

The House of Counselors has a diversified, multi-disciplinary membership that brings together many local, professional, economic and social skills and competences.

In view of the above, it should serve as a platform for constructive debate based on expertise, good judgment and objectivity, putting aside any political considerations.

The complementarity between the two Houses should also be leveraged to improve the performance of Parliament as well as the quality of the legislation it passes.

In spite of the efforts made, the image in the minds of a number of citizens is one of conflict and outbidding tactics between the government and the opposition, sometimes in Parliament and sometimes in party meetings, even in the media.

I have told you before, from this very rostrum, that the political discourse does not always live up to the citizen’s expectations.

Let me remind you that arguing over trivial matters will always be at the expense of addressing pressing issues and the real concerns of the citizens.

This, in turn, leads to people’s dissatisfaction with politics in general, and to the citizen’s lack of interest in Parliament’s real mission.

Parliament should reflect the citizens’ concerns and be a platform for serious, responsible dialogue on major national issues.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

Given the mission you have to accomplish during this session, particularly with respect to completing the setting up of institutions, there is no time to waste on marginal disputes.

The draft laws which will be submitted to you concern highly sensitive and important issues.

For this reason, I wish to remind both the Government and Parliament of the need to observe the provisions of Article 86 of the Constitution, which stipulates that draft organic laws must be submitted to Parliament for adoption by the end of this legislature at the latest.

Among these bills, for instance, are the organic laws on the adoption of the Amazigh language as an official language, on the National Council for Moroccan Culture and Languages, on the right to strike and on the Council of Regency.

These major national issues require all of you – the ruling parties as well as the opposition, the Government as well as Parliament – to make the spirit of constructive consensus prevail and to avoid political bickering.

As regards the process of giving the Amazigh language an official status and enabling it to play its intended role, it should be kept in mind that Arabic and the Amazigh language have always fostered unity. They will never be the cause of dissension and division.

As for the National Council for Moroccan Culture and Languages, the aim is to set up a body that brings together all institutions concerned by those issues, not to create a general framework for independent organizations.

As regards the preparation of an organic law on the right to strike, it requires broad-based consultations as well as the commitment to a spirit of constructive consensus, in order to uphold workers’ rights as well as the interests of employers and those of the nation.

As for the draft legislation before Parliament, I urge you to speed up the adoption of the organic laws relating to the judicial power, the Authority for Parity and the Fight against all Forms of Discrimination.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

What is important is not to pass laws and publish them in the Official Gazette, but rather to implement them and set up institutions.

And the relevance of institutions is measured by their ability to fulfil their mission and serve the citizens.

In this respect, I urge you, once again, to rapidly elect the members of the Constitutional Court – a mission entrusted by the Constitution to both houses of Parliament – so that the said Court may be inaugurated as soon as possible. I mentioned this in my address to you last year.

Similarly, the legislation on the Competition Council and the National Authority for Integrity, the Prevention and Fight against Corruption has to be implemented.

The question is: Why are the laws relating to a number of institutions still waiting to be updated, four years after the adoption of the Constitution? Why are we waiting for the new institutions stipulated in the Constitution to be set up?

I wish to mention, in particular, human rights and monitoring institutions, the Advisory Council for family and child welfare and the Advisory Council for youth and community action.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

Many challenges will need to be addressed during the legislative session I am inaugurating today. Serious action and true patriotism will be required to complete the process of setting up national institutions. The latter do not only concern the ruling parties or the opposition; they are there to serve the citizens, irrespective of any other consideration.

I therefore urge you to seek constructive consensus regarding all major issues that concern the nation. However, I am against all forms of negative consensus aimed at serving personal objectives or sectarian purposes at the expense of the interests of the nation and the citizens. The nation’s interests should remain above any other consideration.

I therefore pray that you live up to your responsibilities for the good of our beloved nation.

“If Allah finds any good in your hearts, He will give you something better”. True is the Word of the God.

Wasslamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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