LONDON - Driss Guerraoui, the Secretary General of the newly appointed Economic and Social Council, told Middle East Online that Morocco is far from being affected by the wave of protests across North Africa and the Middle East because “we have a popular king.”
“Our country has given more rights and freedoms to its people than other countries in the region,” said Guerraoui, who is also the Prime Minister’s chief economic advisor.
“In the last 11 years we have advanced in many aspects, including individual and collective freedoms,” he said Guerraoui.
“The Economic and Social Council has and pluralist composition. It has a consultative role through giving advice on major national issues, leading perspective studies on the various sectors,” added Guerraoui.
Guerraoui’s appointment did not come as a surprise thanks to his experience in economic and social welfare.
He has been in charge with the negotiations between the government and unemployed graduates on the top of his commitment to helping improving the country’s economy. He is also the Regional President of the International Council on Social Welfare.
In the aftermath of the demonstrations Morocco's King Mohammed VI expressed his "commitment to continue to make structural reforms" during the inauguration ceremony of Economic and Social Council in the city of Casablanca.
"As we set up the Economic and Social Council, we are not only injecting fresh momentum into the reform process I launched shortly after I assumed the leadership my loyal people, but we are also underlining the close link between genuine democracy and the achievement of human advancement and sustainable development," King Mohammed said.
The government declared that it had "got the message... Now we have to speed up" the reform process, government spokesman and Communications Minister Khalid Naciri said.
"Moroccan democracy is maturing. At a time when demonstrators in other Arab countries are met with violence, in Morocco they face institutional and political serenity," he added.
He stressed that the message of the demonstrators "had been heard" by authorities.