In response, Saad-Eddine El Othmani, Head of Government and president of the National Council of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), has said that it is high time for the parties to shape up and adapt to the “political and democratic evolution” of the country.
Commenting on the July 29 speech, El Othmani told news outlet Le360 that the parties must “engage effectively” in the political scene to serve the greater good of the citizens and the nation.
However, for the PJD’s National Council president, the party “has long chosen to be close to the citizens, investing time and effort to listen to their demands, and has always worked to convince the citizens to engage in the political sphere.”
“Personally, I think that the PJD has always relied on a sound policy and has worked to ensure the common good of Morocco and its citizens.”
El Otmani continued that the PDJ is “trying” to mobilize its local elected representatives to enhance communication with citizens, because the party is “aware that a sound governmental and political policy needs committed political parties, who respect the laws of democracy.”
The King criticized the “regrettable and dangerous vacuum” created by political parties, which has lead to the escalation of protests in Al Hoceima, though he said they could “actually occur in any other region.”
“What is the meaning of responsibility if the official concerned loses sight of one of the most basic requirements of that responsibility, which is to listen to citizens’ concerns?” said the King, alluding to the war of words between the PJD and Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) concerning the delay of Menarat Al Moutawasit development project.
Abdelilah Benkirane, former head of the government and current secretary general of PJD, said last week during a meeting of his party that “the PJD should not be held accountable for the delay of Al Hoceima’s Menarat Al Moutawasit development project because they were not informed of the details of its implementation.”
PJD member of parliament Nabil Andaloussi stated on April 15 that “the absence of credible elected representatives between civil society and the State has lead to the surge of protests in Al Hoceima” implicitly referring to Ilyas El Omari, PAM secretary general and president of Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceima region.
Andaloussi was surprised that “the party which presents itself as central in the political life and which controls 23 of the 36 communes of the province of Al Hoceima has no authority on the street,” alluding to PAM.
In response to Andaloussi’s April 15 interview, El Omari described the PJD as a “political leader” in the country, before taking to his Facebook page, probing the party to “hurry to meet the demands of the people before they show it the way out of the political scene.”