ADVANCED REGIONALIZATION IN MOROCCO: TRANSITIONAL STAGE TO SAHARA AUTONOMY

The proposed regionalization in Morocco, is a revolution compared to all previous conceptions of decentralization. This is a new architecture that breaks with the past, both in its conception, its goals, expectations, as its objectives. This is one step in a continuing process of democratization of the political and social life.

The logic of this approach can be explained by the choice of the path of regionalization for many years, for territorial entrench democracy in Morocco and to avoid also the creation of a large disparity between the all regions of the Kingdom, including the Southern Provinces.

On the democratic essence, this regionalization goal will strengthen the role of the region in Morocco, which implies major changes in the distribution of powers between central and local actors. It is the transfer of powers from the center to the periphery and will multiply decision centers and bring them closer to people. In this sense, the principles of decision-making autonomy and financial autonomy will be an important step forward in the path of consecration effective powers in the region.

Moreover, regarding the Sahara issue, regionalization is also the Moroccan perception of a solution to the dispute. Indeed, the advanced regionalization in Morocco provided in the constitutional reform is a “transitional stage” to the Sahara autonomy. Implementation of advanced regionalization in Morocco is the
complement of the Moroccan offer combined dynamic and sustainable Sahara conflict.

To achieve the goals of regionalization, the plan to extend the powers of the presidents of regional councils will have executive powers. They will no longer depend on governors and walis. They will be awarded the total management of budgets and municipal assemblies will be accountable to the people and the law. In this vein, the constitutional recognition of the autonomy of management and administrative autonomy, contribute to enshrine the principle of separation of powers and their distribution between the central and local governments.

The King gave the broad guidelines to help ensure the consecration of regionalization according to the expectations and needs of the Moroccan people. These include measures to strengthen the role and the region as a territorial community, to promote the democratic election of the regional councils by direct universal suffrage and by assigning the presidents of the regional councils of power execution proceedings of such boards, instead of governors and walis. It is also to ensure that, as pointed out by the Sovereign, to strengthen the participation of women in the management of regional affairs and, in general, the exercise of political rights, including through the equal access of women and men to elective offices.

The Moroccan King Mohamed VI announced on on November 6 the implementation in 2015 of the far-reaching regionalization for the development of Morocco’s southern provinces. He made the announcement during the 39th anniversary of the Green March, pointing out that “the major works the government plans to launch next should be of paramount importance for the future of that part of the kingdom.”

According to the Moroccan King, the event should be an opportunity to take stock of the progress of the kingdom’s southern provinces while identifying the defects which are thwarting the achievement of their full potential either internal or external.

This regionalization project relates in particular the southern provinces of the Kingdom that will benefit from rights and privileges in the context of “good governance for equitable redistribution, not only functions, but also the means between the center and regions.”

Said Temsamani
Senior Fellow at the Meridian International Center and member of the National Press Club, Washington DC. Said Temsamani is a political analyst who follows events in Morocco and across North Africa.

11/11/2014