The decision is part of the upper house’s mobilization of all technical and logistical means for remote work during the COVID-19 crisis.
Rabat – The bureau of Morocco’s House of Councillors, or the upper house of Parliament, is set to implement an electronic voting system in plenary sessions and generalize the system for all standing committees starting next week.
The upper house announced the decision in a statement at the end of the bureau’s weekly videoconference meeting yesterday.
Hakim Benchamach, the speaker of the upper house, said the move is in line with the first chapter of article 60 of the Constitution and with article 175 related to the rules of procedure of the upper house.
Article 60 secures parliamentary members’ right to vote, and article 175 stipulates that voting must take place in public and by a show of hands or by means of an electronic device provided for the purpose of voting.
Benchamach and the members of the bureau stressed the importance of mobilizing all technical and logistical means for remote work to guarantee the participation of upper house members in the institution’s proceedings during the COVID-19 crisis.
As part of its prerogative to monitor government action, the bureau also approved the agenda of today’s weekly oral questions session devoted to the employment and professional integration sector. Benchamach underlined the house’s new procedural rules for the weekly sessions, commending their adherence to the state of emergency measures.
The upper house places legislative texts related to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic at the center of its priorities, the statement continued. The institution added that it has agreed to study and vote on the texts the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development unanimously approved on May 4.
The first text is Bill 26.20 approving Decree-Law 2.20.320 on exceeding the ceiling for external loans. The second text, Bill 27.20, enacts special provisions relating to the management of the activities of the governing bodies of public limited companies and the procedures for holding their general meetings during the state of emergency.
The bureau has also decided to submit Bill 23.20, approving the state of health emergency Decree-Law No. 2.20.292, to the Committee on the Interior, Local Authorities, and Infrastructure, calling for the committee’s urgent consideration.
The Moroccan government has worked to lead by example during the COVID-19 crisis. Ministers, MPs, and the royal family demonstrate respect for mandatory mask-wearing measures, several institutions have turned to remote work, and officials have contributed their salaries and allowances to the country’s COVID-19 response fund.