Rabat - Saad Eddine El Othmani seems to be in hot waters lately. Following criticisms by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Transparency Morocco has expressed its discontent with the head of government, calling out his negligence in the fight against corruption.
Rabat – Saad Eddine El Othmani seems to be in hot waters lately. Following criticisms by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Transparency Morocco has expressed its discontent with the head of government, calling out his negligence in the fight against corruption.
Transparency Morocco reacted on Tuesday to the government’s release of a decree on the National Anti-Corruption Commission on 23 June. El Othmani shutdown the commission, backtracking on the promises his party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD), made during their electoral campaign.
In an open letter addressed to El Othmani, the renowned NGO criticized the text, stating that “the government does not respect the commitments that it takes towards the civil society.”
For the NGO, the government’s complete change of position regarding the fight against corruption reveals clearly, as on previous occasions, an infringement of “the projects agreed with the various stakeholders.”
Transparency Morocco is not off the mark on this point, as this is not the first time the Executive has backtracked on its promises.
Just this week, the head of government signed as chairman of the National Council of the Justice and Development Party a statement condemning police officers attack on citizens’ right to peaceful demonstration.
But on Wednesday, El Othmani signed another statement in contradiction to the first, supporting the decision of the Interior Ministry to deny the right to peaceful demonstration on behalf of the coalition of the majority parties.
The distressing record of action against corruption, in the two years since the adoption of the national strategy, risks to extend indefinitely, as in the previous medium-term government action plan.
The closure of the National Anti-Corruption Commission confirms to representatives of civil society the reticent behavior adopted by the government. It reflects the attitude of the public authorities towards a retreat from civil society at a time when they are called upon to promote social accountability, citizen participation, and public governance as announced in the Constitution.
“The mistrust expressed in regard to the vital forces of society adds to the prohibition of numerous civic activities and denigration of the activities of the associations most committed to fundamental rights,” fires Transparency Morocco in its letter.
The NGO adds that the Executive’s decision discredits, in the eyes of the public, “the government’s commitment to integrity, strongly undermined by various points.”
Transparency Morocco lists the government’s “lack of accountability,” “conflict of interest due to impunity,” “inertia of public authorities in face of news of embezzlement committed at home or abroad,” “sanction of whistleblowers,” “squandering of public property,” “denial of the right to access to information,” and more.
“Since 2011, the demand for transparency, public governance and the fight against corruption has been at the forefront of both organized and spontaneous social movements, from the north of the country to its extreme south,” states the NGO, stressing that the government’s answers to this demands “contrast sharply with the accommodations that the public authorities express through inefficient institutions and continuous reprieve.”
“We are deeply sorry to remind you that you have just started on the same path,” concludes Transparency Morocco.