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Targeting Democratic Participation in the Arab World

The Arab Reform Initiative is an independent Arab think tank working with expert partners in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond to articulate a home-grown agenda for democratic change and social justice. It has no ties to any specific country and its work agenda and strategic orientations are decided by a Plenary composed of the directors of its 15 institutional members."

The Role of Petitions in Strengthening Citizens’ Participation in Morocco

Morocco’s 2011 Constitution introduced the right to petition public authorities as a tool to encourage and enhance citizens’ participation in the political process. This paper assesses the Moroccan experience by analysing the petitioning process, its constraints, and the opportunities it offers for advancing public interest. It also suggests recommendations to ensure petitions become a more effective role in entrenching participatory democracy in Morocco. Protester with a petition and a megaphone in Rabat

Rabat, May 19.– The 2011 Constitution paved the way for a new take on citizens’ participation in Morocco, carrying it to new heights by establishing new mechanisms that support citizens in their oversight of public policies, such as legislative petitions, which were anticipated to improve public action and bridge the gap between the citizen and the state. However, the practical legal and regulatory implementation of constitutional requirements, as well as the nature of the dominant political and administrative culture, have somehow constrained the acquisition of these tools and weakened their impact on dismantling the traditional course of action in public intervention.

In this paper, we will look into the gains of the Moroccan experience in participatory democracy by analysing the new requisites and the impact of the petitions presented to public and territorial authorities. Considering our initial findings, we will examine the legislative and practical constraints hindering these efforts, while trying to foresee enabling factors for improvement.

The Political and procedural dimensions of the legislative framework of local petitions
The submission of petitions1 to the public authorities in Morocco has guaranteed the introduction of participatory democracy techniques to representative democracy, further enabling citizens’ participation and strengthening its impact on public policies ...

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