Rabat – Leading member of the Modernity and Authenticity Party (PAM) and parliamentarian Abdelatif Ouahbi has criticized party leader Ilyas El Omari, saying he takes “unilateral decisions” without consultingother party members.
In a video published on Thursday by Horizon TV, Ouahbi accused El Omari of constantly interfering in party matters and taking all decisions by himself without including party leadership in the process.
“[El Omari] seems to forget that there is a Political Bureau which also takes decisions alongside him,” he said.
Ouahbi criticized the Political Bureau, PAM’s executive body, for not defending its prerogatives against the leader, who he says wants to monopolize decision making within the party.
This situation has providedfurther confirmation, said the member of the House of Representatives, that the PAM’s Political Bureau is not fit to face the challenges that the party is facing, particularly the crisis in Rif.
The PAM came first in Al Hoceima in Rif region in October 2016 general elections, where the party battled with the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), the party currently leading the government.
Several leading members of PAM are originally from the Rif, including the party secretary general El Omari.
However, ongoing protests in Al Hoceima and the surrounding areahave belied PAM’s influence on the unrestin the region, which has been making headlines in national and international media.
El Omari was elected as PAM secretary general in January 2016, replacing Mustapha Bakkoury. Prior to his election, he was seen as the strongman within the party. Described as a populist politician, El Omari is a staunch critic of the PJD and its leader Abdelilah Benkirane, also accused of populism.
As the president of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, El Omari has repeatedly exchanged accusation with members of the PJD-led government members on whom to blame for the deterioration of the situation in Al Hoceima and delay of development projects launched by King Mohammed VI in 2015.