By Jamal Elabiad
By Jamal Elabiad
Morocco World News
Zagoura, Morocco, June 9, 2012
There is no denying that Morocco’s Islamist Prime Minister, Abdelilah Benkirane, was once one of the opponents of the Moroccan regime. He was one of those dreaming of reforming the regime for several reasons. One is that the prevailing system – for him – was responsible for the social ills the majority of Moroccans were going through. Then, of course, there were some Moroccans who became Benkirane’s strong supporters because of his strong opposition to that system.
Abdelilah Benkirane, however, changed his political attitudes and principles 180 degrees soon after he was elected leader of the Justice and Development Party, or PJD, in July 2008, taking over from Saad Eddine Othmani. Think, for instance, of his attitude toward the Feb. 20 movement and his decision that the PJD would not participate in its protests which were scheduled for Feb. 20, 2011.
The reasons Abdelilah Benkirane gave for not joining the movement’s pro-democracy demonstrations were more or less similar to the rumors some pro-government newspapers spread against the Feb. 20 movement. An example in point was that the movement activists were agents of the Polizario Front.
The question that many Moroccans asked, including some of Benkirane’s supporters, immediately after Abdelilah Benkirane became the PJD’s leader was why did he turn his coat? In other words, why did he take off his democracy coat and replace it with an autocracy one? When asked by some Moroccan journalists about the rationale behind his becoming more royalist than the king, Abdelilah Benkirane attributed that to the conclusions they came to after reviewing the principles their political line was based on, including their opposition to the regime in Morocco. One of those conclusions is that the latter doesn’t take the blame for the social problems Moroccans have been suffering from, including poverty, unemployment and corruption. Add to this the fact that Moroccans live in stability and security thanks to the monarchy.
Benkirane’s response shows beyond a doubt that he is good at playing with words. He knows quite well how to use the right words with the intention to mislead Moroccans. For instance, instead of using the word “concessions,” he used the word “reviews”. There is a big difference between the two words.
My point is that Abdelilah Benkirane was appointed prime minister, not because he reviewed his political beliefs, but simply because of the concessions he made to be integrated into the political establishment. Benkirane’s PJD party was not the first and will not be the last Moroccan political party to make concessions in order to reach power.
There are many terms and conditions that Moroccan politicians must accept if they want to be appointed ministers. That includes being a member of a government that doesn’t rule. And that’s why it’s ridiculous to blame the Islamist-led government for hiking up the price of fuel. I really do not need to remind you of who reigns and rules in Morocco!
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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