Rabat - Istiqlal Party (PI) has expressed its support for the protests movement in Al Hoceima and nearby areas, commonly known as the “Hirak”.
Rabat – Istiqlal Party (PI) has expressed its support for the protests movement in Al Hoceima and nearby areas, commonly known as the “Hirak”.
Morocco’s oldest party issued a statement on Tuesday, declaring its “full and unconditional support” for the “social and economic demands,” calling on the government to “positively respond” to them.
“[The Istiqlal Party] salutes protesters who have shown a sense of responsibility through demonstrations that remained peaceful and civilized,” reads the communiqué.
The opposition party criticized the government’s methods of dealing with the protests.
According to Istiqlal, the government “directed heavy accusations against Al Hirak before retracting and calling its demands legitimate. Then a delegation of ministers was sent to the region to put the population at ease before embarking in a wave of mass arrests against activists.”
“The confused attitude of the government has made things more complicated,” adds the statement.
The party called on both parties, protesters and public authorities, to show “maturity and responsibility to overcome these sensitive moments.”
It also urged the two parties to kick off a “serious dialogue” that would ultimately culminate in an agreement over clear timetable for development projects satisfactory to the population.
“To create suitable conditions for this dialogue, Istiqlal urges all parties to show good will through the release of all Al Hirak detainees and the halt to their trials, and the suspension of all forms of protests until it is certain the dialogue is honest and effective,” says the communiqué.
Istiqlal also called for a cessation of what it described as “cheap media campaign” targeting the protests movement and the people of Rif.
Though support for the protests by political parties has gained momentum, they are still widely seen with suspicion.
Parties of both the opposition and the majority in Parliament have expressed support for what they called the “legitimate demands” of the population in Al Hoceima and surrounding areas.
However, throughout the past seven months of protests, political parties have been unable to calm tensions in the region. They have tried to both mediate between protesters and the government trying to prevent the government from making more “grave mistakes,” in the words of some politicians, intellectuals and civil society activists. These include government accusations that protesters were “advocating for separatism,” along with arrests, detentions and heavy charges against activists.