Rabat – In a meeting with ministers of the Moroccan government on September 26, King Mohammed VI reportedly shook hands with all the ministers in the Council of Ministers, with the exception of Nabil Benabdellah, Morocco’s Minister of Housing and Urban Policy, according to Moroccan news website, Medias24.
Another Minister who was present at the council meeting revealed to Medias24 what allegedly happened when the king avoided shaking hands with Benabdellah.
This apparent royal snub came only a few weeks after the Royal Cabinet slammed Benabdellah for inappropriately implicating the King’s Advisor, Fouad Ali El Hima, in the electoral campaign prior to the legislative elections scheduled to be held on October 7.
In early September, Nabil Benabdellah told Moroccan weekly Al Ayam that his party “has no problem with the Authenticity and Modernity party (PAM-opposition), but with the person who is behind the party,” in a tacit reference to El Hima.
On September 13, the Royal Cabinet issued a communiqué denouncing the minister’s statement:
“The latest statement of Nabil Benabdellah, Minister of Housing and Urban Policy and Secretary General of the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS-majority), is a political diversion tool at election time, which requires refraining from launching unsubstantiated statements.”
The communiqué of the Royal Cabinet also asserted that the Minister’s “irresponsible statements” are “dangerous” as they come from “a government member, while the targeted person [El Hima] currently holds the position of HM the King’s Adviser and no longer has any relationship with politics.”