After four years of implementation of the partnership for democracy with the Parliament of Morocco, PACE has made “an overall positive assessment of its results”. In a resolution adopted today on the basis of a report by Bogdan Klich (Poland, EPP/CD), it highlights the instrumental role of the partnership in “launching and developing crucial reforms” and establishing “multi-faceted co-operation between the Council of Europe and Moroccan institutions”.
However, the parliamentarians regret that no tangible progress has been made with regard to the death penalty. Although a de facto moratorium on executions has been in place since 1993, courts in Morocco continue to hand down death penalty sentences. PACE therefore reiterates its call on the Moroccan Parliament “to abolish the death penalty in law, and, pending abolition, to declare a de jure moratorium on executions”.
The Assembly also encourages the authorities to step up the legislative and institutional reforms, to take measures, in close co-operation with the Venice Commission, to improve electoral legislation before the next parliamentary elections in 2016, to ensure that women are duly represented at all levels of power and society, and to respect freedom of religion.
While welcoming the recent steps and initiatives taken by Morocco to strengthen the National Council on Human Rights commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, PACE takes note of concerns raised by some international officials and human rights organisations related to alleged human rights violations in Western Sahara.
PACE will continue to review the implementation of political reforms in Morocco and to offer its assistance to the Moroccan Parliament.
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The Moroccan Parliament was granted partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly on 21 June 2011 on the basis of Resolution 1818 (2011). It is the first parliament to have been granted this status, introduced by PACE in 2009 to develop institutional co-operation with the parliaments of neighbouring States of the Council of Europe.