US keen to see planned reforms in Algeria, Morocco

ALGIERS- The US is waiting expectantly to see if promised political reforms in Algeria and Morocco are put in place, a top American diplomat said Thursday.
Speaking in Algiers, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North Africa Robert Maxwell praised the two nations for moving forward after the revolutions in the Arab world at the start of this year.

It was easy to see, he said, "that the government of Algeria and the government of Morocco are making the right choice to stay a few steps ahead of the Arab Spring."
Maxwell nevertheless cautioned that the US expects promises of reform to be delivered.
"We accept what we hear from the government of Algeria in terms of the promise of reform at the value of their word and we wait to see what happens with what is promised. This is both in the case of Algeria and Morocco."
Chastened by the dramatic revolutions in their neighbouring Libya, Egypt and Tunisia which toppled three of Africa's longest serving strongmen, governments in Morocco and Algeria have been pushing a number of progressive political reforms to avoid the same political fate.
Aimed at boosting democracy and liberty, the reform proposals range from amending electoral system rules to the dilution of power and revision of constitutional laws.
Results so far have been somewhat mixed.
A greatly amended version of a bill introducing quotas to ensure better representation for women in Algeria's parliament was adopted Monday but met with criticism from female MPs who said the new version was "discriminatory" and far from the initial text approved by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. In early July voters in Morocco, the Arab world's oldest reigning monarchy, approved a new constitution which curbs the power of King Mohammed VI -- who remains the country's supreme power -- and strengthens the role of the country's prime minister and government.

Friday, November 4th 2011

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