Cabinet council debates draft public freedoms law
Morocco, Politics, 12/15/2000
The Moroccan cabinet debated at its weekly meeting held in Rabat Thursday under the chairmanship of Premier Abderrahmane Youssoufi several draft bills forming the public freedoms code.
The cabinet, which started a preliminary discussion of the drafts, decided to carry on a more thorough debate after it reached agreement on the general orientations, a statement by the ministry of culture and communication said, adding the drafts will be adopted in the coming days.
The draft related to the press law seeks to enlarge, guarantee and preserve the freedom of speech and make of it a major implement for democracy consecration. It is meant to adapt the law to its national and international environment, to keep abreast with the democratic evolution and the new political climate prevailing in Morocco, and to guarantee balance between public and individual freedoms while protecting order and responsibility.
The draft related to associations creation is meant to enlarge the scope of associations creation freedom while enabling these associations to access material means to fulfill their role. The draft eases the procedure whereby these associations are state-approved, and defines the relationship between administrative powers and associations. In case of dispute between the two sides regarding the creation of an association, the matter is referred to summary judgement. The power to dismantle associations is also entrusted to justice.
The third draft related to public rallies takes into account the evolution of practice in matters of defense of ideas, guaranteeing the freedom of speech, and the experiences of democratic states in the field and seeks to alleviate the prison sentences and fines.
The drafts were described by former chairman of the Moroccan organization of human rights (OMDH), Abdelaziz Bennani, as a stride towards the consolidation of the rule of law in Morocco.
Bennani told the Moroccan TV channel RTM Thursday evening the new text is a pillar of the democratic building and expressed hope that the new text be made public to "start a frank debate" on its content before it is submitted to the parliament.
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