US welcomes Morocco 'yes' vote on reforms

WASHINGTON- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday hailed Morocco's referendum on curbing the king's near-absolute powers, saying it helped promote democratic reforms in the North African country.
More than 98 percent of voters endorsed on Friday the reforms offered in a bid to quiet protests inspired by uprisings roiling North Africa and the Middle East, preliminary results showed.

"The United States welcomes Morocco's July 1 constitutional referendum," Clinton said in a statement.
"We support the Moroccan people and leaders in their efforts to strengthen the rule of law, raise human rights standards, promote good governance and work toward long-term democratic reform that incorporates checks and balances," she continued.
"We look forward to the full implementation of the new constitution as a step toward the fulfillment of the aspirations and rights of all Moroccans."
Faced with demonstrations modeled on those that ousted long-serving leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, Morocco's King Mohammed VI announced the referendum last month to devolve some of his powers to the prime minister and parliament.
Mohammed VI, who in 1999 took over the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty, offered the reforms after the February 20 Movement organized weeks of protests that brought thousands to the streets. They were calling for greater democracy, better economic prospects and an end to corruption.

Sunday, July 3rd 2011

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