- SARAH ZAAIMI
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I was never good in mathematics, but when it’s political mathematics I don’t mind trying. So 98,5% of Moroccans voted YES, only 1,51% voted NO, 73% participated, and the other 27% probably boycotted the Referendum, went shopping during the sales at Zara, went bronzing in Dar Bouazza, or are part of the confused X% to which I belong!
What Does It Mean To Be An X%? Well it simply means that you have a monarchist 19 years brother who voted YES, a nationalist father who call you at 8 a.m from Rabat to Alexandria to remind you to go do your national duty of voting, a politically passive aunt who never had any political position but who suddenly decided to vote YES not to let Feb20 movement decide for her, and hundreds of friends in real and virtual life who find every royal discourse holy and every royal gesture so CUTE and worth sharing on social networks. It also means that you have journalist friends whom you trust saying NO, activists you believe in deciding to boycott the vote, and other hundreds of friends who demonstrate in the streets every Sunday since the 20th of February. If you are like me you were feeling torn between the YES and the NO and finally decided not to vote on the first of July, because you prefer letting mathematics being the referee between the YES and the NO!
The Masses Said YES! And the biggest mistake is to think that the masses are not mature enough to decide for themselves. It doesn’t mean that if they were not present on twitter and facebook like you, that they don’t have a voice and an opinion about their country. Also, please stop saying that we are an illiterate country and most didn’t even read the project of the constitution, because this will be underestimating the intelligence of your fellow Moroccans educated and illetrate together, who don’t need to have a degree in constitutional law to know that it is about the redefinition of the three pillars of the Moroccan modern state: Allah (Religion), Al Watan (Territory), Al Malik (Monarchy). Furthermore, this 98,5% shows how much the new Moroccan ‘‘elites’’ are isolated in their virtual world and closed circles of people who look exactly like themselves, to the extent that they really believed for a second that the Moroccan masses will revolt, and this referendum is a reality chock which we should not take with the classical reaction of refusal, but with the maturity of reconsidering our choices and stop talking and media, social media and bars and start listening to the beat of the deep society!
The Cheap Makhzen Propaganda! The fact that I support the decision of the Moroccan people whatever it is, doesn’t mean I support the archaic way the Makhzen managed this referendum. For the NOz all people saying yes were corrupted and manipulated and for the YESz all people saying no are traitors and foreign spies, and these Manichean campaigns went on as July first was approaching. Yet, the Makhzen over abused its mobilisation tools and made us feel that the soul of Idriss el Bassri was there somewhere directing all this, with all the Mkadems, Kayeds, Consular Affairs, Police Forces… ‘’encouraging’’ the people to vote YES. Then you have the eternal magical religious card, with the Sufi brotherhoods hitting the streets and praying the whole night for the Monarchy, and the Imams at the Friday prayers preaching in favour of the constitution. Then comes our almighty king going to vote in his fabulous Djellaba, reminding us of his religious authority and that it’s not time for the modernity of suites and ties in our traditional kingdom of Morocco. All I can say is: Halleluiah and Bravo for the big communication hit!
Back To The Constitution Itself: Personally I don’t think that the constitution was that bad, but we could have done better. First, when you read it you feel that it is a Very Moroccan constitution, written by Moroccans in response to current changes, and has nothing to do with the copy-pasted constitutions we used to have from the French ones. A second positive aspect is that the text constitutionalised all the assets and gains of the past 10 years: women rights, the rights of Moroccans Resident Abroad, human rights, prevalence of international laws over national laws, Advanced Regionalization, Human Development etc. But my personal 5 favourite articles, remains: 1. Unconditional Freedom of Expression, 2. Access to State Information, 3. Communication Privacy Rights, 4. No more Detentions, Tortures or Invasion of homes, 5. Youth Inclusion and Participation as constitutional rights. So yes the king didn’t give up of much of his military, political or religious powers, but whom do you trust in Morocco to give them to? And imagine with me one moment what we can do with my favourite 5 articles?
So I would like to thank the Moroccan People illiterates and educated for making the choice on behalf of us poor confused X%, to thank the Constitutional Committee who were clever enough not to bother the king and at the same time gave us space to militate from within the system, and to thank Feb20 movement for spicing up the political debate. From my side, if I have to live with this constitution, I promise to abuse every single constitutional right I have, starting with Freedom of Expression!