King Mohamed Calls for Unity, Patriotism in Throne Day Speech

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Rabat – In a politically and emotionally charged context following protests in Northern Morocco and a months-long boycott of some of the country’s leading companies, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has called for citizens to safeguard Morocco’s unity and stability in these times of “chaos” and uncertainty stemming from “schemes of enemies and various threats.”

King Mohamed VI, who made his Sunday speech on the eve of the 19th anniversary of his ascension to the throne, underlined his vision for Morocco: functional public services, responsive and accountable political elites, and responsible and participatory citizenship.

But as important as political accountability and a modernized public administration may be, the country cannot rise to its numerous challenges without a genuine commitment to unity, peace, and stability, the King said. Patriotism and a strong commitment to the destiny of the motherland—through bad and good times—have been a defining element of Morocco’s national heritage. This emotional attachment to the country and the ensuing sense of sacrifice is now more than ever needed in uncertain times of security challenges.

“The commemoration of Throne Day, which today marks the nineteenth anniversary of my accession to the throne, is testament to the allegiance binding me to you, and to the mutual covenant between us to remain forever faithful to Morocco’s sacred, immutable values and to make whatever sacrifices are needed for its unity and stability.”

Mohammed VI also called on the government, political parties, and other elites to be mindful of their special duties as keepers and guarantors of the peace and stability needed to propel Morocco towards the kind of future that many Moroccans want for their country.

Constructive criticism

The King, who came to power in 1999, has implemented a number of bold social and economic reforms, regaining the trust of partners and collaborators in Africa and beyond.

There is, however, still more to do to attend to the needs of many Moroccans, the King noted.

“We can be satisfied with and take pride in what Morocco has achieved and what Moroccans have accomplished over the last two decades. Yet, I cannot but feel that something has been missing in the social domain…we shall continue to work actively and resolutely in this field, and seek to identify and address weaknesses together.”

Mohammed VI made it emphatically clear in his speech that fulfilling Moroccans’ dreams and aspirations requires unity and a binding belief in a common future. Fulfilling these demands “a collective action, planning and coordination between different institutions and actors.”

The King welcomed criticism, but said that while it is good and legitimate to criticize, it is more important to do so with the intention of advancing the country or the political debate, rather than promoting division and discourses that feed a political atmosphere of self-deprecation to downplay and undermine “achievements made in the last two decades.”

“I am confident that Moroccans will not allow the advocates of chaos and nihilism or the peddlers of misconceptions to exploit certain deficiencies in order to encroach upon Morocco’s security and stability and belittle its gains and achievements.”

Calling for a “general overhaul” of the country’s development model, the King promised a “social registry” that will spur social equality by promoting a genuine “social dialogue.”

According to the King, social dialogue is a necessary condition for development as it ensures that “social stakeholders concerned keep in mind the nation’s best interests show a keen sense of responsibility and seek consensus in order to develop a balanced, long-lasting social charter.