June 30, 2011 / 2:15 PM / in 6 years

TIMELINE-Morocco holds referendum on new reforms

June 30 (Reuters) - Morocco holds a referendum on Friday on a revised constitution that King Mohammed has offered to placate “Arab Spring” street protesters.

Here is a timeline on Morocco since the king came to the throne.

July 23, 1999 - King Hassan II dies from a heart attack and his son Mohammed VI ascends to the throne.

May 16, 2003 - Suicide bombers set off five blasts in Casablanca. Forty-five people are killed including 13 of the bombers and about 60 are wounded.

Oct. 2003 - King Mohammed says he will reform family law, protecting women’s rights in marriage, allowing them to seek divorce and raising their minimum marriage age to 18 from 15.

Dec. 16, 2005 - The Arab world’s first truth commission says about 592 Moroccans were killed at the hands of the government between the 1960s and 1990s, a period known as “the years of lead”. Victims and their families are compensated but none of the killers is named or punished.

Sept. 7, 2007 - With a record low voter turnout of 37 percent, the conservative Istiqlal party wins most seats at a parliamentary election and Abbas El Fassi is named prime minister.

Nov. 6, 2007 - King Mohammed criticises Spanish King Juan Carlos’s visit to the disputed enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

Nov. 6, 2009 - calls for action against traitors who threaten the country’s “territorial integrity”, a direct warning to Western Sahara independence campaigners in a speech marking 34 years since Morocco took control of the territory.

Jan. 3, 2010 - King announces a new consultative body to study a shift towards more regional government including the Western Sahara and help modernise state institutions.

Feb. 20, 2011 - Marches calling for King Mohammed to give up some of his powers and dismiss the government draw thousands in more than 50 cities and towns, the biggest anti-establishment protests the country had witnessed in decades.

March 9 - King Mohammed announces he will overhaul the constitution and set up a hand-picked committee to draft changes by June, which include a stronger parliament, a bigger role for local officials and an independent judiciary.

April 28 - Seventeen mostly European tourists are killed when a blast rips through a cafe overlooking Marrakesh’s Jamaa el-Fnaa square. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb later denies hints by the Moroccan government of its responsibility.

May 8 - Thousands of protesters march in Marrakesh and Casablanca demanding reform and opposing militant violence after the April attack. The rallies are the latest in a series organised by the February 20 youth movement.

May 15 - Several people are wounded after security forces prevent activists of the February 20 Movement from holding a sit-in in front of what the group say is the headquarters of the domestic intelligence services.

May 22 - Police use truncheons to break up anti-government protests in several cities, apparently signalling a tougher government line against the February 20 Movement.

June 17 - King Mohammed promises a new democratic constitution devolving some of his powers to parliament and the government. He sets a referendum for just two weeks later, and says he will be voting in favour.

July 1 - Morocco set to vote on the new constitution which will grant the government executive powers, but retain the king as head of the army, religious authorities and the judiciary. It will also allow the king to name a new prime minister. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters.com/ ) (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;)

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below