It's ten years since King Mohammed VI took the reigns of the Moroccan monarchy. Two of our Moroccan Observers comment on his time in power so far.
Larbi is a blogger and IT consultant from Morocco. He currently lives in Paris.
The broken promise of institutional reform was a massive disappointment. Just like it was when he began his reign, the king is still the only decision-maker in Morocco, the only person to referee and define politics and everything else. It doesn't matter who has a majority in parliament or what they believe in. The decisions made and choices settled on are neither explained, debated, or given a second opinion. He is the state. The government's principal mission is to carry out the Monarch's instructions. Besides, the king's personal entourage, made up of old classmates, are constantly nibbling at things which concern the public sphere, despite having no official political control.
The second disappointment concerns a question of custom. When he came into power, we had many hopes that he would relax a few traditions. But we soon become disillusioned. TV carries on with this bygone idea of reading out every telegram, in its entirety, received by the king. The officials don't miss a chance to remind us, in the most exaggerated and slimy way, of our allegiance to the king. The kissing of his hand, something from another age and completely undignified and out of place, continues to this day, and continues to tarnish our image as a country."
Mounir Bensalah is an engineer in Casablanca. He posted this comment on his blog, "Des maux à dire".
It's also important to recognise all of the problems that the king had to take on: Western Sahara, Islamic extremism, revolutionaries re-converted to royal customs, economic and military lobbies, strained international relations.
The king has made real progress in many areas - the moudawana [a new family law adopted in 2004 which notably makes repudiation and polygamy more difficult], major constructions such as the TGV [fast train] lines and new motorways, the IER [a truth commission set up in 2004 to tackle human rights offences between 1956 and 1999]. All these things however, are not good enough for those who consider Morocco a true, modern, democracy."