Moroccans approve new constitution by sweeping majority

15:25, July 02, 2011      

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Morocco is set to have a new constitution that will curb the king's powers after over 98 percent of voters gave their approval in Friday's referendum.

Preliminary results released by the Interior Ministry early Saturday showed that the approval rate reached 98.49 percent in the vote, which the ministry said was carried out in an orderly and smooth manner.

Around 72.65 percent of about 13 million registered voters cast their ballots at 37,570 polling stations across the North African country, the ministry added.

Although the voting of overseas Moroccans will continue till Sunday at the countries' embassies, the passage of the new constitution is already set in stone.

Amid waves of demonstrations calling for political reforms and better living conditions, Moroccan King Mohammed VI proposed changes to the country's constitution on June 17.

The new version transfers some of the king's powers to the prime minister, who now as the head of government has the authority to appoint government officials. It also enhances the powers of parliament.

The king will remain as the head of state, religious leader and supreme commander of the armed forces, and continue playing a pivotal role in the country's policy-making process.

Source: Xinhua

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