By Amine Bendris
By Amine Bendris
Morocco World News
Meknes, December 16, 2012
On Friday, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) started its ninth national congress under the slogan of “Together for Morocco of Democracy and Modernity”. The most important thing that is expected out of this national congress is the election of the secretary general of the party known for its history and past struggle against the monarchy. The opening of this congress was characterized by the attendance of the prime minster Mr. Adbillah Benkirane, in addition to the leaders of other political parties.
I would argue that this national congress can be viewed as an important landmark in the modern history of the USFP since it is believed to determine the new orientation of the party after the stigma that has been associated with it after the fallout from its participation in the previous government of Mr. Abdurrahman El-youssfi. In other words, I would say that this congress is an attempt from the party to re-gain the power it lost in the past years. Statistically speaking, this congress is taking place 11 years after the participation of the party in the government. Also, there are more than 1780 participants who are either members of the national council of the party or parliamentarians who represents the different regions of the country.
After the withdrawal of Mr. Mohammed Talbi, four candidates compete for the post of secretary general: Driss Lachgar, Lahbib El Malki, Ahmed Zaidi and Fathallah Walalou.
I do not expect much out of this congress and neither should the followers of this party. There are many harbingers that hint that this congress would be a total fiasco. The most important one is the candidates who are running for the post the secretary general. Mr. El Habib El Malki, was Minister of Education in the cabinet of Driss Jettou (2002–2007) and Minister of Agriculture in the first cabinet of Abdurrahman el-Youssfi (1998–2000). We all still remember his “achievements” when he was in the government. I wouldn’t say that he made the situation worse in the fields that he was entrusted with, but I find myself obliged to say that he did not accomplish anything that he can be remembered for.
As far as Driss Lachgar is concerned, the only thing that I can say is that he represents the ambivalent nature of the party. All his outings imply one thing: his inconsistency. What has been said about Mr. El Malki can also be said about Mr. Fathallah Walalou, former minister of finance and economy.
He had no achievements that can speak for him except his resort to borrow money from other countries whenever Morocco needed it. Also, his management of the capital city of Morocco is another testimony to his “achievements”. As regard Mr. Ahmed Zaidi, he is the head of the party’s parliamentary group. He seems to be representing the new trend of leftists who show disagreement with the most important political parties of the country.
You may be wondering why I am expecting this congress to be a fiasco and would be the last bullet that would kill the already-tired body of the party! I would say that except Mr. Zaidi who seems to have no chance of winning these elections, all the other candidates who are likely to win are stigmatized for their prior experiences as ministers. How can we trust someone who had already been given a golden opportunity to work and missed it.
Finally, I would end my article with a very important moment that took place at the opening of this congress. It is the conspicuous presence of Mohamed El-Gahess. Once he appeared, all the attendants started chanting his name and lauding his principles. What was more conspicuous is the special way the prime minister talked to Mr. El-Gahess. It should be noted here that El-Gahess is known for his choice to leave the political bureau of the party. The reason beyond his choice is still unknown.
However, I think that if Mr. El-Gahess was one of the candidates, he would win these elections easily since, unlike others, he is known for his political integrity and his struggle for the principles of the party. Also, I would say that he would be able lead to the resurrection of the party after its past knock-outs. Unfortunately for the followers of the USFP, they have to settle for the same old guard that achieved nothing but its personal interests.