By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, August 14, 2012
Day after day, we are taken aback by the contradictions that the PJD-led government’s speeches are fraught with. Back to the days when the PJD did not yet attain the ruling power and when it was still serving as the opposition, the vast majority of Moroccans were then inspired by the party’s mottoes, especially those dealing with fighting corruption at all costs. If we, for instance, draw a comparison between the principles that the party in question upheld in the past and those it upholds now, we will find, not only differences, but also contradictions.
Nowadays, the calamity we are facing does not only lie in the contradictions occurring between what the PJD pledged in the past and it is now doing in the present, but mainly in the contradictions characterizing the recurrent speeches of Abdelilah Benkirane, Morocco’s head of the government, and other PJD ministers. Mr. Benkirane who once fought body and soul to defy corruption has come up with a new, unprecedented philosophy of pardoning the corrupt instead of bringing them to justice.
At first, he defied the “crocodiles”. Later on, he set them free by pardoning them. During an interview with Al Jazeera, he explicitly stated that it is no use chasing the corrupt. Later on, he explained that the act of not prosecuting corrupt officials should not be understood with a short-sited view.Here is an unforgivable contradiction among many others.
Some ministers too are without exception. Lahcen Daoudi, Minister of Higher Education, stated in a circular that only students must be given priority to access higher education, whereas employees of the Education Ministry must not be entitled to the same ‘ facility’. When interviewed, Daoudi expounded on the circular, saying that the circular must not be taken literally and that everyone has the right to pursue his or her studies on condition that regular class attendance is guaranteed.
Yet, when some Moroccan universities announced master programs, they stated in the prerequisites that employees and teachers are disallowed from applying. So, where is the point Mr. Daoudi made when he explained the circular to the aspiring employees? Isn’t this a sign of contradiction between the minister’s uttered words and the phrases entailed in the circular? So far, some universities have already prevented employees from applying on the basis of Mr. Daoudi’s circular. Oddly enough, according to the minister, he thinks that he hasn’t set any condition that can prevent an aspiring employee from the pursuit of studies.
In the same vein, whereas Benkirane believes in the philosophy of pardoning the corrupt and turning a new page, Mustapha Ramid, Minister of Justice and Freedoms, believes otherwise, stressing that corruption files are ready to be placed at court for a fair trial. Files of corruption, Ramid believes, will sooner or later be disclosed and fairly treated. Quite the opposite, Benkirane disagreed and added that disclosing names and exposing the corrupt will get the government nowhere but to chaos and national instability.
Another sign of the Islamist-led government’s contradiction is that Mr. Benkirane has said no to Daoudi’s proposal of ending free education for the rich, while Daoudi still clings to his proposal and looks upon it as among the wisest decisions to improve the quality of higher education. No matter how hard Mr. Daoudi tried to convince us that only the rich must pay for their higher education, he will fail for the simple reason that Moroccans’ intuition tell them otherwise, as they are already familiar with the government’s contradictions, and that one day the poor will also be required to pay for their education on the basis that education is worth paying for by all means.
While Mr. Benkirane frequently preaches on bettering the miserable lives of Moroccans and promises to alleviate poverty, his so-called bold step to hike up fuel prices has culminated in escalating food prices and the complaints uttered by the poor that they cannot afford to move from one place to another by taxi. Are the lives of Moroccans improved or worsened with the price increase? At a time when Mr. Benkirane feels self-confident that success is at hand, signs of failure and more disgruntlement are felt and seen on Moroccans’ faces.
No one can deny that among the principles that the PJD has always defended is dignity. While a few PJD ministers have come out against bowing to the king, Mr. Benkirane goes on to deem bowing to the king and kissing his hand as signs of respect. He has supplanted dignity with respect. He has also associated shaking hands with the king with disrespect and kissing the king’s hands with respect. Mr. Benkirane, enough is enough to more contradictions!
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