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After Resigning from PAM Leadership, Will Ilyas El Omari Quit as President of Tangier Region?

Ilyas El Omari

Rabat – Rumor has it that Ilyas El Omari, the outgoing leader of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), will also resign from his second office as president of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region.

The claim has been reported by Moroccan media outlets Le360 and Le Desk, which cite unnamed sources affirming that the soon-to-be-former leader of the second major political party in the country will also quit as president of the northern region.

The sources say that El Omari’s predicted departure stems from adesire to give the opportunity for a new elite inside the party to assume leadership.

The announcement of El Omari’s resignation from the PAM was announced by his party in a release on Monday night. In it, the PAM said its secretary general resigned as an act of assuming responsibility for the behavior of the party’s elected representatives, who had neglected their duties as parliamentarians and presidents or members of municipal councils.

However, in the press conference the former PAM leader held on Tuesday to explain his resignation, he maintained that resigning from the party leadership was a personal choice he could “take on his own.”

El Omari contrasted this to his position as regional president, saying he has partners in the regional council that he could not walk away from. His statement came after several journalists asked him why he had not resigned from the region’s presidential council, where he assumed more responsibility vis-à-vis the people as an elected official.

His resignation has been the talk of town in recent days, with political analysts, journalists, and laymen giving different readings of his departure.

Among the interpretations advanced is that his failure to defeat the Justice and Development Party (PJD), in the general elections of October 2016, despite the allegations of the clear intervention of the Ministry of Interior to incite people to vote for his party, led his standing to drop within the party.

Others pointed to the recent speech by King Mohammed VI on July 29 on the occasion of the Throne Day, in which the monarch slammed politicians and elected officials who he said had failed in their duty to meet people’s demands, resulting in turmoil such as the ongoing crisis in Al Hoceima.

El Omari, an Al Hoceima native, and his party were unable to influence events in the region where protests continued for over nine months.

In recent months, El Omari and other members of the government have passed around the blame for the deterioration of conditions in the region.

His departure as the leader of the PAM, where he had reportedly been the strongman even before his elections as secretary general in 2016, raises questions over the party, which has close ties with circles of power in the Moroccan state.

His potential resignation from the region’s presidency in the coming days or weeks will raise even more about his future as a politician.

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