Thousands protest on Morocco king's allegiance day

August 1, 2011 01:07


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RABAT - Thousands of Moroccans marched on Sunday to press the Arab world's longest-ruling dynasty to relinquish more of its sweeping powers and stamp out corruption.

The protests coincided with the holding of a centuries-old Be'ya, or allegiance ceremony, where hundreds of regional representatives renewed vows of obedience to King Mohammed the day after the anniversary of his enthronement.

Morocco's monarch acted promptly to contain any spillover from pro-democracy uprisings across the region, promising constitutional changes to reduce his powers on March 9, two weeks after protests spread to his country.

A referendum on July 1 endorsed a new constitution. But the changes have failed to end peaceful protests by the youth-led February 20 movement, which is pushing for a constitutional monarchy with the king as a figurehead.

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