By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant, Morocco, June 14, 2012
Beside the fierce wars waged between the Islamist-led government and different political parties who stand in opposition, another debatable issue has come to the surface. The intervention of Abdul Aziz Aftati, member of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), at the oral hearing of the House of Representatives was the moment that fuelled the fire of the new conflict between the ruling party and opposition elements.
In what was a scene, Abdul Aziz Aftati new to the House of Representatives, accused the former Finance Minister Salahddine Mezouar of obtaining compensation that reached 40 million centimes ($53,000) calling on the Party of the Dove (NRI) to open an investigation into these charges.
The accusation came when Abdul Aziz Aftati was given the floor to phrase his question on Monday, in a session of oral questions in the House of Representatives. He said that previous governments if they had wanted to stand against corruption, wouldn’t have allowed their Finance Minister, Mezouar, to receive 40 million centimes under the counter, at the time when the latter gets 7million centimes ($8,700) for his duties.
The accusations of Aftati have created a stir within the Council, which led to the interruption of the session and a walk out by the MPs of the National Rally of Independents. The latter called for the withdrawal of Aftati’s charges and an apology on the part of the team of Justice and Development.
In the repercussions of this incident, Lahcen Daoudi, Minister of Higher Education, Staff Training and Scientific Research, has raised the issue of the management of the Ministry in the days of former Minister Ahmed Akhchichen. Daoudi claimed that the manifestations of extravagance and waste of public money was strongly present in financial reports to the ministry during the time of Akhchichen. The aforementioned claims were obtained by Daoudi from the ministry database via PIN number requested from financial interests.
The reports emphasized that the purchase of roses, to name but a few, cost the ministry’s budget 800 million centimes ($1 million) between 2010 and 2011, and travels abroad and banquets amounted to a billion centimes ($1,3 million) during the same period. In addition to other exorbitant charges concerning gasoline, and local transportation in Morocco exceeded all limits.
Followers of the Moroccan political scene believe that the ruling government is, unfortunately, limited its role in merely creating media bubbles and snaps to distract public opinion while they should have proceeded with reforms and started practical steps for the elimination of corruption. They question the aims of such comments if the government doesn’t take these cases to court.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti