In this speech, the Monarch lauded the initiative by the speakers of both houses of parliament to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moroccan parliament's inception by elaborating an integrated program seeking to highlight the main stages of the evolution of the Moroccan institutional process.
The sovereign stressed that the pluralist parliamentary practice is not something new in Morocco. It is a strategic choice that spanned fifty years and which stems from the deep faith of Morocco and its lifeblood in democratic principles. This is why the Moroccan democratic model stands out as a precursor in its regional and continental environment.
In fact, the Moroccan parliament is a living memory and a privileged witness of the resolute positions adopted by Morocco and the important battles it has waged to make headway with its pluralist political process, HM the King noted.
The sovereign noted that progress of the Moroccan institutional process is continuously changing on the back of accumulations of positive representation practices, nationally and locally, which are in fact complementary.
The sovereign underlined the first representation practice called the parliamentary mandate and which is a representation of the nation, a major national mission, not a political allowance.
"You should measure the extent of this huge task which requires devotion and abnegation, as well as sincere patriotism and a sense of responsibility in fulfilling one's duties," HM the King said, recalling that the present legislature should be considered as a founding one, during which all organic laws should be adopted.
Since these laws complete the constitution, HM the King urged the MPs to show a national consensual spirit, adopt a broad participatory approach, like the one which characterized the adoption of the Constitution, fully shoulder their responsibilities in fulfilling their legislative missions as it is the quality of these laws that matter not the quantity.
HM the King also called for adopting a status of parliamentary opposition so that it could carry out its role of supervising government action, providing constructive criticism and submitting realistic proposals and alternatives to serve the Nation's higher interests.
The sovereign underlined the need for a constructive dialogue and close, balanced cooperation between the parliament and the government, while respecting the separation of powers to guarantee a healthy political practice based on efficiency, coherence and institutional stability and avoid that parliament be turned into a political arena.
The sovereign enumerated the second representation practice which is the local, regional or local council mandate which is more important as it is linked to the everyday life of citizens who choose people and parties that will manage their daily living.
HM the King noted that local councils are the ones tasked with ensuring the management of basic services needed by the citizen on a daily basis, while the government is in charge of elaborating and implementing public policies and sectoral plans.
However, the sovereign went on to say, reality shows the existence of huge variations between the management of local and regional affairs. In fact, if there are some territorial authorities which benefit from a reasonable management model, others suffer unfortunately from elected bodies' defective management.
HM the King gave the example of the city of Casablanca in which the sovereign launched the new concept of authority. Given the special status of Casablanca as an engine for economic development, there is a strong will to turn the city into an international financial hub, HM the King underscored.
Such transformation requires first of all basic infrastructure and services that meet international standards, fostering the rules of good governance, setting up an adequate legal framework, training qualified human resources and adopting modern management methods, the sovereign said, underlining that, despite all equipment and investment efforts, the city of Casablanca lacks the said assets, particularly urban development.
The sovereign pointed out that all problems plaguing the city could be summarized in one thing: governance deficit, stressing that, though the budget of Casablanca's local council is three or four times that of Fez or Marrakech for instance, achievements in terms of quality basic services by the two cities are better than those of Casablanca.
This gap is reflected in the rate of wastewater purification which stands at 45% against 100% in Fez and Marrakech, HM the King noted, emphasizing that this complex situation calls for an urgent diagnosis to identify the roots of the problem and ways to remedy it.
To address shortcomings in several cities and rural centers, HM the King drew the attention of political parties to the need to endeavor to facilitate the emergence of new competences and regional elites able to manage local public affairs given the broad prerogatives laid in the constitution for territorial authorities and the prospects of extensive regionalization.
HM the King urged the government and the parliament to give concrete substance to provisions on the Region and other territorial authorities and adopt related legal texts. The sovereign also said that it is incumbent on the cabinet to activate the adoption of the administrative devolution charter.
HM the King highlighted that the parliamentary mandate and the town council mandate are the keystones of participatory political practice, chosen by Moroccans, and which will be incomplete in the absence of the two components. The importance of the two mandates lies not only in the good management of public affairs, but also in the will to serve the nation's higher interests and defend its just causes, mainly Morocco's territorial integrity, HM the King said.
The sovereign underscored that "the Sahara issue faced this year huge challenges which we succeeded in addressing thanks to the relevance of our proposal and legitimacy of our cause," noting that "we should not be satisfied with winning this battle or giving in to blind optimism."
The sovereign noted the existence of some mistakes in dealing with the main national cause, despite serious initiatives undertaken by some MPs that are not enough, which encourage our foes to double efforts in their attempts to undermine our country.
The monarch explained that this is due to the fact that most actors are not mobilized unless in case of imminent danger threatening our territorial integrity, as if they are waiting for the green light to do anything, while we should drive them back to the defensive by making the first move, anticipating events and responding positively to them.
In fact, the Sahara issue is not only the responsibility of the King, but it is also the cause of each and every one: state institutions, parliament, elected councils, and political, trade union and economic actors, civil society organizations, media and all citizens, HM the King said, recalling again that "the source of our strength, in defending our Sahara, lies in the unanimity of all segments of the Moroccan people over their sacred values."
HM the King called for a strong mobilization and vigilance, and efficient initiatives, at home and abroad, to counter the nation's adversaries wherever they are and foil their illegitimate stratagem.
It is incumbent on the parliament to elaborate an efficient action plan, using all parliamentary tools, to continue defending our territorial integrity, by putting aside antagonisms between majority and opposition, HM the King underlined.
Members of parliament and local and regional elected members, mainly in our southern provinces, should shoulder their responsibilities as representatives of the region's inhabitants and counter the country's enemies, the sovereign underlined.
As supreme representative of the State, symbol of the nation's unity, the monarch said that he will spare no effort to preserve the kingdom's territorial integrity, sovereignty and stability, "armed with the unanimity of Our loyal people and efforts made by all segments."