Rabat - After Abdelilah Benkirane accused Mustapha Ramid, PJD’s human rights minister, of passivity and lack of commitment during the 2011 election campaign, the latter retorted in an angry rant published on his Facebook page.
Rabat – After Abdelilah Benkirane accused Mustapha Ramid, PJD’s human rights minister, of passivity and lack of commitment during the 2011 election campaign, the latter retorted in an angry rant published on his Facebook page.
As the current secretary general is campaigning for a third term approaching the next congress of the PJD, tempers are flying in the party. The growing tensions between the former prime minister and Ramid, known for his strong opposition to the possibility of a third Benkirane term, are reaching new heights.
After a long absence, Benkirane decided to finally step back into the spotlight on October 21. During the National Council of Elected Municipalities, he attacked a large part of the PJD leaders, stating in particular that he was the only one to lead the 2011 election campaign, which had earned his party the first place in the legislative elections.
Benkirane told his audience how he was “the number one to lead the election campaign, while some had preferred to go to Hajj, and did not want to campaign at all.”
There was little room to speculate about who Benkirane was really referring to: “It was me,” Ramid wrote on Facebook. Once singled out, he decide to boycott the weekly meeting of the party held Thursday and instead express his dismay on social media.
For the minister, Benkirane’s statements “are unjustified, irrelevant and incompatible with the ethical rules of the functioning of the party, which is experiencing a crisis and preparing a tense congress.”
“I did in fact participate in the electoral campaign,” he affirmed, reminding the PJD’s secretary general that he travelled through “several regions of the kingdom, namely, Casablanca, Sidi Bennour, Oujda, Berkane, Tiznit Laayoune, Boujdour, and many other cities with other members of the party.”
Questioning what prompted Benkirane “to propose me as a member of the government and support my nomination despite all the obstacles he had faced if he was such a letdown,” Ramid suggested that the former prime minister wouldn’t have issued such criticism “if I had supported his reappointment for a third term.”
In few words, he accused Benkirane of wanting to belittle the other leaders of the party, and to present himself as if he were the only incarnation of the PJD: “The party is me, and I am the party,” fires the minister.
Ramid was very clear on his opposition to Benkirane’s third successive term. During the past two years, when the issue began to be directly debated in the media and behind the scenes of the ruling circles of the party, he was joined by other PJD ministers like Aziz Rabbah, Lahcen Daoudi, and Saad Eddine El Othmani, who all opposed the matter well before the question of the election arose.
A year or so before the 2016 election, Benkirane started to set the stage. His main argument was as follows: “I can be party leader without being head of the government. But it is impossible to be the head of the government without being the leader of the party.”
According to sources close to Benkirane, the former prime minister is intending to make an imminent media appearance to fire back at his detractors within the PJD. All in all, the last word will come back to the party during its general congress, to take place on December 9 and 10.