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Morocco: PM Benkirane Presents New, Democratic Government to Parliament

 By Morocco News Agency Staff

Rabat, Morocco --- 21 January 2012 ... Both Houses of the Moroccan Parliament held a plenary session on Thursday, January 19, devoted to hearing Morocco's new Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane presenting the statement on the government's plan. The government's program is now formally presented for debate in both Houses of Parliament as the first step toward formal approval through a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives in Morocco formally summoned the plenary session "in accordance with Article 88 of the Constitution." 

Article 88 of the Basic Law stipulates that "after the appointment of members of the government by the King, the Head of Government presents and explains to both Houses of Parliament, the program to be carried." Article 88 further stipulates that the presented "program is the subject of a debate in both Houses. It is followed by a vote in the House of Representatives." 

Only in the aftermath of a thorough study and debate, explains Article 88, "the Government is vested after earning the confidence of the House of Representatives, expressed by the vote of an absolute majority of the members of that House, in favor of the government program." 

Since the Benkirane coalition has a majority of 224 seats in the 395-seat House of Representatives (57%) - the government will have to win the support of a few dozen opposition MPs in order to ensure absolute majority in the vote of confidence.

In his address to the plenary session, Benkirane covered the entire program of his government - from basic principles to the macro-economic plan for Morocco. Benkirane stated his cabinet's program is "geared to build a strong, stable, supportive and prosperous society that ensures a dignified life for all its citizens."

The revitalization of the Moroccan economy and society will be "based on the promotion of the middle class by making available the means necessary for the production of wealth." 

Benkirane pledged to engage in an unprecedented fight against, and prevention of corruption. 

"The government will try to base its economic governance on transparency, efficiency and improve the business environment and fight speculation and monopoly situations by adopting several measures," he said.

Benkirane pledged to sustain an impressive growth rate, reduce unemployment rates and lower inflation rates during the period of 2012-2016. The government program "aims to achieve a growth rate of 5.5% to keep inflation around 2%, reduce the unemployment rate to 8% and the budget deficit to 3% of GDP during the next four years," he said.

Discussing Moroccan society, Benkirane stated that the Arabic and Berber identities would be "strengthened in a framework of unity and diversity" of the Kingdom. The government also intends to "pay particular attention to Moroccans living abroad" and involve them in the affairs of their homeland. 
He pointed out that the social elements of the government program should be assessed in the context "of the democratic process facing the Arab world," and stressed the commitment of the Kingdom "to the religion of tolerant Islam, constitutional monarchy, democracy and the defense of territorial integrity."

Benkirane concluded by stressing that the election and composition of his government were in accordance with the provisions of the new Constitution that grants more powers to the Prime Minister and Parliament while preserving the preeminence and rule of the King. 

"The current legislature must be that of implementing the provisions of the new Constitution," said Benkirane. 



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