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Minister Refuses to Comment on Boycott, Says ‘I am not Citizen on the Street’

Rabat – It appears that the recent apology from Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani does not reflect the stance of his administration on the ongoing boycott. Minister of Employment Mohamed Yatim is at the heart of a new controversy after his recent boycott statement.

When asked by a journalist about his stance as a Moroccan citizen on the ongoing boycott against high prices, Yatim replied, “I am a minister and not a citizen. You are asking me [about my stance] as a minister now. If I were a citizen on the street (private citizen) you would not ask me.”

The official said that the boycott “does not concern” him as a member of the government. “Some [people] believe that I am for or against the boycott. I am not for nor against this issue. I am an official and this concerns citizens,” he added.

The statement angered backlash on social networks nationwide as internet users launched another hashtag criticizing the minister: #I_not_minister_not_a_citizen.

“We have discovered now that you are a minister and not a citizen on the street,” said one Twitter user.

“We will not forgive those who supported you in your election campaign, wrote another.”

“What were you before?”

Yatim’s statement follows several harsh comments from ministers in El Othmani’s cabinet

In the early days of the boycott, which started exactly on April 20, Morocco’s Minister of Finance and Economy Mohamed Boussaid denounced the campaign, calling supporters of the boycott “mdawikh” (fools).

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Aziz Akhannouch also condemned the boycott, asserting the ineffectiveness of the online campaign dairy company, Centrale Danone.

Ahead of his apology to the boycotters, El Othmani refused to comment on the boycott, saying that he would not respond to “inconsequential people.”

Five days ago, El Othmani apologized for the “verbal expressions and offenses made against boycotters.”

The boycott targeting Sidi Ali, Afriquia, and Centrale Danone is still ongoing.

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