In response to a wave of demonstrations in February 2011 and the emergence of the pro-democracy February 20 Movement, King Mohammed VI announced plans in March to make broad revisions to Morocco's 1996 constitution. A commission of experts was appointed to develop a specific proposal for the devolution of some executive powers from the King. On July 1, the proposed constitutional reform was approved in a national referendum by ninety-eight percent of voters (on a turnout of more than seventy-two percent).
A notable change includes a shift of executive power from the king to the prime minister, who now presides over the Government Council, which is responsible for preparing policy proposals. In addition, the prime minister will be appointed from the party that wins the most seats in parliament. Under the old constitution, the scope of the parliament's legislative authority was restricted. The King retains exclusive authority over security, foreign policy, and religious matters. Mechanisms will also be created to increase the number of women serving in parliament and on local councils. Additionally, regional councils, which are directly elected by voters, will be given greater powers and resources. Lastly, the Amazigh (Berber) language will be recognized as an official language of Morocco, in addition to Arabic.