By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, June 30, 2012
The Istiqlal Party (IP) may be the first Moroccan party to challenge the tradition of nepotism in its internal management. Many people are raising their voices against the perpetuation of preferential treatment granted to the “Fassi” dynasty that has monopolized the party’s leadership for generations.
A large segment of the IP members would like to winds of change to blow in their direction. The candidacy of the general secretary position is now fiercely disputed between those who want to reproduce the model of “favors” that benefits more to the “Fassi” families and a new model that wants the party to become a political institution rather than a “family” enterprise where positions are inherited.
The leadership behind this change is no other than Mr. Hamid Chabat, the member of the IP executive committee and the current mayor of the spiritual capital Fes. Mr. Chabat announced that he intends to uphold its candidacy against his opponent Mr. Abdel Wahed Al Fassi, son of Allal El Fassi, one of the founding fathers of the patry. Mr. Chabat sounded confident in his speech during a press conference last Wednesday where he asserted clearly that he never loses his battles. He added that it is high time the IP broke off with the tradition of compromise in the election of its secretary general.
According to the Moroccan daily “Al Massae,” Mr. Chabat made his intentions clear by stating: “All we want is change. We derive our force from the Holy Quran, the Sunna and prayers of Moulay Idriss.” He expressed his intention to transform the party into a political institution while withholding the party’s historic and political legacy.
Mr. Chabat unveiled his future plans for the party in case he is elected as a secretary general. He promised to summon the party’s ministers every 100 days to discuss their performance in the government. In response to the mayhem sparked within the party regarding the minister’s nomination, Mr. Chabat suggested the formation of an electoral committee that will consider the eligibility of candidates. This would be an attempt to put a term to the policy of favoritism that had undermined the IP internal democracy.
Mr. Chabat enjoys overwhelming support from those among the IP executive committee in addition to the allegiance of his proponents in the IP affiliated Union, the UGTM (Union General des Travailleurs Marocains) where Mr. Chabat is the current president.
On the other hand, Mr. Chabat leveled criticism against Abbas Al Fassi–the current secretary general –for his apathy in the coalition government regarding some controversial decisions such as the rise in fuel prices. Mr. Chabat‘s campaign is more likely to strike a chord with those IP members who reject corrupt practices within the party. Mr. Chabat’s ambitions to lead the party are very likely to put a term to the “Fassi” hegemony over one of the most powerful parties in the Morocco.
Edited by Laura Cooper