Moroccan king urges prompt elections to speed reforms

By REUTERS
July 30, 2011 19:36

 
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RABAT - Morocco's King Mohammed called on Saturday for prompt parliamentary polls to expedite a new constitution that reduces his powers, after months of protests inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.

At the helm of the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty, King Mohammed acted swiftly to contain any spillover from the Arab Spring, promising constitutional changes on March 9, two weeks after protests spread to Morocco.

A new constitution was endorsed in a referendum on July 1 but has failed to end peaceful protests by the youth-led February 20 movement, which is pushing for a constitutional monarchy in which the king remains purely as a figurehead.

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