I arrived early this morning in Morocco and have spent a busy day with political activists, party leaders, journalists and others discussing tomorrow's constitutional referendum, which will no doubt see the new constitution proposed by King Muhammad VI easily adopted. The February 20 movement that opposes the new text as a farce (because it does not really change the power of the king) is calling for a boycott, and a test of how much resonance this call has had will be tomorrow's turnout. In the meantime, as they demonstrate in cities across Morocco, I saw the sorry sight of pro-monarchy protestors in Rabat attacking the activists, even hounding a leader of the human rights movement, Khadija Riyadi, into hiding in a petrol station to escape the attacks.
There will more about this later. In the meantime, here's another edition of our occasional podcast, Lunch With The Arabist. This episode was recorded a few days ago in Egypt, but is about Morocco and the new constitution. We ask the prominent French-language blogger Ibn Kafka what he thinks of the new constitution. Ibn Kafka is associated with the Mamfakinch ("We Won't Budge" in Moroccan dialect) website, which is close to the February 20 movement.
For a pre-referendum story, check out Paul Schemm's story at AP.
To listen to the podcast, click the play button below.