Morocco: Why do I boycott? | openDemocracy

This post was originally published on openDemocracy.

 

On November 25, 2011, Moroccans will vote in theirfirst parliamentary election since a referendum approved a series of constitutional amendments. The amendments, introduced by the king, are intended to reduce the monarch’s prerogatives in favour of an elected legislative body. However, for myself and a number of Moroccan democrats, there exist many reasons why we choose to respond to the call of theFebruary 20 movement and why we will boycott the upcoming election. Continue reading

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#FreeMona Now!

UPDATE: Mona has been released. She’s in good health and says she was beaten and sexually harassed by Egyptian police.

Egyptian-American writer and activist Mona El Tahawy was arrested in Cairo last night.

Her last tweet reads:

“RT @monaeltahawy: Beaten arrested in interior ministry.”

Mona is contagiously passionate about the revolution in Egypt and democracy in the Arab world and she’s been doing a great job explaining the Arab awakening on major western media outlets.

Mona has of course her supporters and detractors. Her opinions do not always obtain unanimity. Mona leaves no one indifferent. One thing is for sure though: her passion for freedom and democracy in the Arab world are undeniable.

Therefore we should call for the immediate release of Mona El Tahawy. Use the hashtag #FreeMona on Twitter. Spread the picture above in your social networks.

Let us not forget also to actively call for the release of all political prisoners in Egypt, notably my friend and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah and many others who are behind bars, for nothing else but their opinions.

Legislatives marocaines : Je boycotte… et voici mes raisons

Je voudrais m’adresser a mes compatriotes honnêtes et bien intentionnés qui veulent aller voter aux législatives vendredi et ceux qui hésitent encore à prendre la décision de sortir voter le 25. Je parle à ceux qui pensent, en leur âme et conscience, qu’en allant voter ils pourront aider au changement en apportant du sang neuf aux institutions, en espérant ainsi pousser la classe politique actuelle, majoritairement corrompue et inféodée au Makhzen, en dehors du système.

J’aimerais partager avec eux mon point de vue et leur expliquer pourquoi je suis convaincu que le boycott et le meilleur choix à faire. Avant qu’ils ne s’énervent et qu’ils ne cliquent sur la petite croix, je leur demanderais de me donner une petite chance en lisant ce qui suit.

Je suis intimement convaincu que les personnes bien intentionnées qu’elles sont espèrent voir une transition démocratique au Maroc sans faire courir au pays les risques de crises internes ou de conflits que d’autres pays de la région connaissent.

Mais dans les conditions politiques actuelles dans lesquels se retrouve le Maroc, voter consisterait à essayer de traiter un cancer à coup de tablettes de paracetamol.

Je les invite maintenant à laisser libre cours à leur imagination. Essayons ensemble de dessiner les trajectoires hypothétiques, mais réalistes de ce processus en cours. Qu’arrivera t-il si 1) le taux de participation est élevé, et si 2) à l’opposé, le taux d’abstention est plus conséquent. Continue reading

Morocco: Coalition Warns of “Serious Risks” if Parliamentary Monarchy Not Implemented Fully

The Coalition For a Parliamentary Monarchy Now is a Moroccan group close to the youth-based pro-democracy movement February 20. It was founded back in June and has been campaigning for the immediate implementation of a parliamentary monarchy in Morocco–Not without controversy within the pro-democracy camp which is made of an eclectic and broad coalition of political activists and militants ranging from republicans in the left to monarchists in the right and comprising various breeds of Islamist and secularist militants.

The Coalition For a Parliamentary Monarchy Now thinks a parliamentary monarchy is “the only effective way to combine monarchy and democracy.” It has been critical of the reforms conducted by the king earlier this year. In a press release published today [in Arabic… English translation to follow hopefully soon] it is urging the Moroccan power “to repeal the current constitution, ensure healthy electoral competition between parties–not only between the notables, promote transparency, accountability and put en end to years of impunity.” Continue reading

Leading Opposition Figure Gives Seminal Speech, Addressing Syrian People

Borhan Ghalioune, is a well-respected Syrian academic and opposition figure. He lives in France where he works as a professor of political science at the prestigious Sorbonne University. In this video released today, he addresses the Syrian people in his capacity as the chairman of the Syrian National Council, an opposition coalition founded earlier this year following the Syrian uprising.

I had the privilege to meet Mr. Ghalioune earlier this year at a conference in Paris when Syria was still seemingly unmoved by the pro-democracy protests that were beginning to sweep through the region. During that meeting Mr. Ghalioune was specifically asked about the situation in Syria. I remember he gave a foreboding response that in hindsight proves to be terribly accurate. He rejected the prevailing idea at the time that the Syrian people were not ready for change and predicted the kind of appalling violence that the regime was about to unleash on the protesters.

In his address today, Mr. Ghalioune is pledging to not let down the victims of the repression. “We will not negotiate on the blood of the victims and martyrs” he says, adding that “Syria in the future will be a country where the rule of law prevails, and where all are equal before an independent judiciary.”

He added that “The new Constitution will protect the rights of the minorities,” calling for “unity and the end of years of discrimination, injustice and exclusion.”

In the future Syria, he says, “there will be no talk about majority or minority, but only about citizenship and equality, regardless of tribal or ethnic or ideological or sectarian considerations.”

For several months, the Syrian opposition was looking for its soul while facing a repressive and organized regime. Today’s speech may be providing the opposition with the clarity and the consistency it needed so badly. Perhaps more importantly, it provides it with a trusted face through which it can reach out to the Syrian people in its entirety.

Bookmarks 10/02/2011

  • Au Maroc ce sont les mêmes dynasties qui gravitent autour de la famille régnante. Rien ne les répugne plus que le changement.

  • Interessant dossier dans L’Express sur les “grandes familles” au Maroc.

    • Des dynasties familiales, dont l’origine remonte parfois à plusieurs siècles, sont aujourd’hui encore très présentes dans la haute administration comme dans le monde de l’entreprise.

    • Qui gouverne au Maroc ? Le roi bien sûr, mais aussi une élite fortunée dont les représentants se partagent les postes de la haute administration et la direction des entreprises publiques ou privées. La plupart de ces privilégiés appartiennent aux “grandes familles” du royaume, une bourgeoisie patricienne dont les origines remontent aux toutes premières conquêtes arabes et à la fondation de la ville de Fès. La saga de ces dynasties familiales, dont les descendants, aujourd’hui encore, dominent largement le monde de l’entreprise ainsi que la technostructure étatique du pays, est intimement liée à l’histoire du Maroc. Un universitaire marocain, Ali Benhaddou, a retracé l’histoire de ces lignées dans deux ouvrages (1) dont nous nous sommes largement inspirés.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Bookmarks 09/26/2011

 

 

  • tags: human rights watch al jazeera israel publishtoblog

    • Israel should immediately release the journalist Samer Allawi or charge him with a criminal offense, Human Rights Watch said today. The Israeli military arrested Allawi, a Palestinian who heads Al Jazeera’s office in Afghanistan, on August 9, 2011, as he tried to leave the West Bank after visiting his family. Military judges have repeatedly extended Allawi’s detention “for purposes of questioning” on the basis of confidential evidence that he could not see or challenge, and denied him access to his lawyer for 12 days.

 

  • Le CJDM a l’honneur chez TelQuel.

    tags: maroc CJDM Takhouar Abou Lahab publishtoblog

    • Le concept cher à la petite équipe, c’est le LOL, acronyme de Laughing Out Loud (“à mourir de rire”) que les internautes avertis connaissent bien. Qu’est-ce qui est LOL selon le CJDM ? “L’Istiqlol” par exemple. Mais aussi “l’option réLOLutionnaire” de l’Union socialiste des forces populaires (USFP), détournement là encore d’un mot d’ordre de l’Ittihadi Mehdi Ben Barka, “l’option révolutionnaire”. Le plus LOL, selon Abou Lahab et sa bande, restent les dépêches farfelues de la MAP, qui traque n’importe quel soutien, “de la diplomatie parallèle des Iles Féroé à l’amicale des retraités de l’enseignement public à Maroantsetra, qui bien sûr tous soutiennent le Plan Azur et relèvent la puissance de la composition de la commission de Menouni qui a rédigé la nouvelle Constitution”.

 

 

 

  • Wait a minute. Either this man is completely naive or he has been hired by Kadima, Netanyahu’s opponents, to do their PR work. We’re supposed to believe that previous Israeli governments wanted peace on the premise that the conditions they advanced at the time are accepted by Palestinians today; that the current government in Israel is somehow different from previous ones because it has shifted away from past Israeli commitments. What M. Clinton seems to ignore is that it has been a constant Israeli policy to impose on Palestinians conditions the Israelis knew new the Palestinians couldn’t accept. There’s a very good reason behind that strategy: to put the Palestinians in a situation where they reflexively refuse Israel’s so-called offers. It has been true before and it is true today. I’m not saying that to absolve Netanyahu or his government but only to point out the fact that M. Clinton’s analysis is flawed.

    tags: clinton netanyahu peace palestine foreign policy publishtoblog

    • “The two great tragedies in modern Middle Eastern politics, which make you wonder if God wants Middle East peace or not, were [Yitzhak] Rabin‘s assassination and [Ariel] Sharon‘s stroke,” Clinton said.
    • “The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn’t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu. They wanted to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there’s no question — and the Netanyahu government has said — that this is the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank,” Clinton said.

 

 

 

 

  • tags: publishtoblog Palestinian UN Bid

    • Abbas, the outdated Palestinian president, made nothing new in today’s speech.  He declared his intention to sit around the table with Netenyahu if he was guaranteed full membership in the UN. He thinks that negotiations without solid parameters will remain as useless as they have always been.  He also stated that he does not want to isolate Israel. Something most Palestinians, actually, want to do. South Africa couldn’t have won over the Apartheid regime had it not isolated the White government and compelled the world to exert pressure and economic sanctions upon it.

 

Bookmarks 09/25/2011

  • A group of armed French citizens travel to the occupied West Bank to “defend the settlements” against the “aggression from the Palestinian occupiers,” as Abbas was presenting the Palestinian bid for UN recognition. Interesting article about a violent Zionist organisation that has been operating in France with quasi impunity, enjoying “good relations with the French authorities.” Take a read.

    tags: settlements israel aljazeera publishtoblog

    • The court process to convict Attal was unusual, according to Dominique Cochain, the lawyer representing one of the victims. “The aggressor wasn’t present in the court, neither was his lawyer, and the judge therefore took it upon himself to interrogate the victim for two hours, trying to make the victim say it was a fight rather than an act of aggression,” essentially playing the role of the defence lawyer, she told Al Jazeera.

       

  • Must read, from my friend Anas.

    tags: syria anas qtiesh publishtoblog