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Partnership with the Parliament of Morocco: an overall positive assessment

After four years of implementation of the partnership for democracy between the Parliament of Morocco and PACE, the Committee on Political Affairs has today issued an “overall positive assessment” of its results. It welcomes the fact that the partnership has been instrumental in “launching and developing crucial reforms”, which should, however, be speeded up, and that multi-faceted co-operation has been established with the Council of Europe.

In its draft resolution based on the report by Bogdan Klich (Poland, EPP/CD), the Committee regrets, however, that no tangible progress has been achieved with regard to the death penalty. Although a de facto moratorium has been in place since 1993, courts are still handing down death sentences. The Committee calls on the Moroccan Parliament again to “abolish the death penalty in law, and, pending abolition, to declare a de jure moratorium on executions”.

“The partnership must remain an important tool aimed at streamlining the programme of reforms and increasing the role and responsibility of the parliament in this process”, said the Rapporteur. “We expect more efforts from our colleagues in Morocco to step up the pace of legislative and institutional reforms, to abolish the death penalty, to prevent human rights violations and to ensure equal representation between women and men.”

The Committee also invites the authorities to take measures, in close co-operation with the Venice commission, to improve electoral legislation and, more generally, the electoral process as a whole before the next parliamentary elections in 2016. It hopes that PACE will be “invited to observe these and any future parliamentary elections”.

The parliamentarians reaffirm their strong support for the work being carried out by the United Nations to help the parties concerned to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution in Western Sahara. While welcoming the recent steps and initiatives taken by Morocco to strengthen the National Council on Human Rights Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, they take note of “serious concerns raised by some international officials and human rights organisations related to alleged human rights violations in Western Sahara”.

The draft resolution will be debated by PACE at its next plenary session in Strasbourg (22-26 June 2015).