The reverberations of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts, which toppled two of the longest-ruling Arab dictators, continue to be felt throughout the Middle East. In Yemen, Iran, Bahrain and Libya, demonstrations are calling for political and economic reforms. Bahraini protesters have been brutally suppressed by security forces, killing two protesters, and even firing on funeral processions in the first two days of the protests. In Libya and with a complete media blackout, the police has been clashing with protesters for days and reportedly using foreign mercenaries to repress the rioters killing a reported 80 people in three days (The footage here is from Benghazi).
First of all, the nature and style of government in Morocco is different that in the Arab republican states, where political legitimacy is lacking. The Moroccan monarchy is largely popular and entrenched in the socio-cultural foundations of the country., so much so that in Morocco we can actually talk about two layers of political authority that help set the monarchy as regime and political order above the political fray, and one that is capable of deflecting all criticism towards the state government led by the prime minister. This is not surprising then that the small protests we’ve seen so far in Morocco, notably in Fes, Tangier have largely been demanding for the king to sack his government and away from any calls of regime change.
Another factor is that maybe M6’s early reforms proved key in deflecting some of the anger we see in the Arab world today. As he established one of the first truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the atrocities of years of lead and compensate victims of those years of state violence. The king also to introduce some small scale political reforms inviting vast array of political parties to partake in relatively open elections, and empowering a relatively viable civil society, which brought about significant policy changes to some social issues: women issues and Amazigh. However, there have been recent setbacks especially in the spaces allotted to the press, with the incarceration and economic asphyxiation of major independent newspapers and magazines. This is where the challenge for the country lies ahead. Allowing a modicum for freedom of expression outside state intimidation, retaliation and undergoing constitutional changes to reduce the scope of political powers of the monarchy.