Rabat - In the interior ministry's latest set of proposed amendments for national electoral laws, policymakers have not made any references to the integration of the Moroccan diaspora community in domestic politics, according to a report by Hespress.
Rabat – In the interior ministry’s latest set of proposed amendments for national electoral laws, policymakers have not made any references to the integration of the Moroccan diaspora community in domestic politics, according to a report by Hespress.
Abdelilah Benkirane’s government has previously committed to address problems regarding the representation of the interests of the expatriate community abroad, estimated to include five million Moroccans.
A team of legislators from the ruling and opposition coalitions presented drafts laws to meet the demands of Moroccans abroad, but a vote on the proposals was delayed until after the end of the national and regional election on October 7th of this year, according to an official quoted by Hespress.
The kingdom’s constitution allows “Moroccans living abroad to enjoy complete citizenship rights, including the right to vote and stand in elections,” the official said, as “they can submit their nominations for elections in the local, regional and national” elections.
In order to provide clarification in cases of legal vagueness, the draft law further defines the citizens who can vote and those who can become a nominee from their countries of residence, he said.
Dr. Abdul Aziz Qraca, a professor of political science at the University of Mohammed V in Rabat, said, in a statement to Hespress, that “the community is of great importance for Morocco on multiple levels,” as evidenced by the actions of King Mohammed VI regarding the improvement of the quality of services at the level of embassies and consulates, and the subsequent implementation of those decisions at the level of the Foreign Ministry.
Qraca explained that “the community contributes to the economy’s development and, more importantly, the development of the country’s wealth”, highlighting the role of the international diaspora on promoting Moroccan interests worldwide.
After the United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon referred to the kingdom’s presence in the Western Sahara as “occupied,” Moroccans residing outside of the country, including those in the United Kingdom, the United States and even Peru, protested the international leader’s comments.
Accordingly, the professor asserts that “if we take this factual consideration into account and we added to the constitutional text, then we need to involve the community politically. It is logical that the community living abroad feels excluded from politics, so we need to be searching for the best ways to make the community present at the political level.”
Several parties have proposed their plans to promote the political empowerment of expatriate Moroccans.
The Independence party has been lobbying for the allocation of 60 seats in the House of Representatives to represent the five million Moroccans living abroad.
One of the country’s socialist parties proposed to enable the community to vote for one of 30 new representatives within the House from their own countries of residence.
The ruling Justice and Development Party calls on the House to create four new constituencies abroad to be represented by at least four new seats.