Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Rabat, September 23, 2012
Hamid Chabat, current Mayor of Fez has been elected on Sunday as new Sectary General of the Istiqlal party, succeeding to Abbass Fassi, former Prime Minister. Chabat, 53, won 478 votes against 458 votes for his rival Abdel Wahed Al Fassi, a former health minister.
During the electoral campaign, many people within the party were 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 was hoping to see winds of change blow in their direction. The candidacy of the secretary General position was 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 was no other than Mr. Hamid Chabat, the member of the IP executive committee and the current mayor of the spiritual capital Fez. Mr. Chabat had in several occasions announced that he intended to uphold his candidacy against his opponent Mr. Abdel Wahed Al Fassi, son of Allal El Fassi, one of the founding fathers of the party. Throughout his campaign, Mr. Chabat sounded confident in his ability to lead the Istiqlal party. “It is high time the IP broke off with the tradition of compromise in the election of its secretary general,” he said in a conference held last June in Rabat.
“All we want is change. We derive our force from the Holy Quran, the Sunna and prayers of Moulay Idriss,” he added. He went on to express his intention to transform the party into a political institution while withholding the party’s historic and political legacy.
Mr. Chabat had already 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.
With his election, Mr. Chabat puts an end to the “Fassi family’s” hegemony over one of the most powerful parties in the Morocco.