Rabat - Police forces broke up an extraordinary congress held by the General Union of Moroccan Workers (UGTM), the labor union affiliated to the Istiqlal Party (PI), on Sunday.
Rabat – Police forces broke up an extraordinary congress held by the General Union of Moroccan Workers (UGTM), the labor union affiliated to the Istiqlal Party (PI), on Sunday.
The meeting was organized after UGTM members loyal to contested PI leader Hamid Chabat challenged a court decision on Friday ordering annulment of the congress.
After an anti-Chabat UGTM wing elected Mayara Enaam as the union’s Secretary General in place of Kafi Cherrat, the union’s pro-Chabat leader, Enaam requested police intervention to enforce the court’s decision.
The congress was held to enable Chabat to be elected as UGTM Secretary General amid growing fears over his chances to win another term as the leader of Istiqlal.
A video of the incident posted on Youtube and Facebook shows Chabat continuing to talk during the police interventions, urging his followers to remain in their seats and challenge the police’s order to vacate the place.
Altercations between police forces and congress attendees resulted in injuries and even the loss of consciousness of some UGTM members.
The incident highlights mounting internal divisions between pro and anti-Chabat members of Istiqlal and its affiliated labor union.
Chabat seems to be losing his grip on both as his opponents, including some of his former allies, are pulling the rug out from under his feet.
Hamdi Ould Rachid, the influential MP from Laayoun, is leading the anti-Chabat wing within Istiqlal.
In the meantime, Nizar Baraka, the former minister of economy, is campaigning to gather support for his potential face-off against Chabat during the party’s next congress, where a leader is due to be elected.
Chabat will be seeking another term as the Secretary General of Morocco’s oldest party. But, as recent events have demonstrated, his endeavors might not be successful.