Morocco's King Mohammed VI marked his first year on the throne by taking steps to improve the country's often criticized human rights record, releasing some 900 prisoners ahead of official celebrations Sunday.
The popular, 36-year-old king also promised to revitalize the government through an economic and social council staffed by experts, and to create transparent local councils to reconcile the population and its administration.
On Saturday, King Mohammed pardoned 899 prisoners, four of whom had been given life sentences.
When he ascended to the throne on July 30th, 1999 -- replacing his late father King Hassan II who had ruled for 38 years -- King Mohammed vowed to move the country forward, and fight against poverty and social inequality.
But he said he had no "magic wand" to carry out reforms, and Moroccans have complained that their daily lives have been slow to change.
On Sunday, the king said in a televised address that reforms remained a high priority and that he would give new force to an economic and social council already inscribed in the constitution – RABAT (AFP)
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