After the House of Representatives voted to pass the bill, the Parliament’s upper house also adopted mandatory military service.
The online news outlet for the ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) announced that the council approved the draft law that was written according to constitutional principles.
The project, added PJD, aims to strengthen national codes and social cohesion among Moroccans who will be selected to perform the 12-month military service.
Mandatory service will also be an opportunity to integrate Moroccan youth into professional and social life by providing military training and educating conscripts to have discipline and courage.
The lower house of the Moroccan Parliament approved the law on December 27.
During a plenary session at the House of Representatives, the delegate minister in charge of the National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudiyi, said that the service will “promote the spirit of sacrifice and self denial.”
The reintroduction of the obligatory military service came under the King’s orders. It is also in line with the provisions of Article 38 of the Constitution, which emphasizes that all citizens should contribute to the defense of the homeland and its territorial integrity.
Men and women between the ages of 19 and 25 will be subject to a 12-month military service. People with financial dependents or disabilities will be exempted from the military service.
However, people over the age of 25 who were previously exempted can still be called up until the age of 40 if the reason for their exemption is no longer relevant.
After the ministerial council first introduced the military bill in August 2018, some Moroccans expressed concerns that only lower and middle class people would be subject to military service.
King Mohammed VI, however, rejected the claims in October 2018, emphasizing that no social class will be exempt from mandatory military service.
“With regard to performing military service, it must be emphasized that all the Moroccan citizens concerned–without exception–are equal, regardless of social background, diploma or education,” said the King.
In 1966, Moroccans were subject to 18-month military service in accordance with Royal Decree 137-66. The decree said that military service enables youth to “contribute effectively and in all circumstances to the defense of their homeland.”
In 1999, Morocco reduced the length of service to 12 months and abolished mandatory service completely in 2006.