Former Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane admitted he had financial problems before getting a pension.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI has offered former Moroccan Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane an “exceptional pension” after the former secretary general of the ruling Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD), experienced financial problems.
Benkirane spoke about the pension after he received criticism on social media for receiving an estimated MAD 70,000 monthly under instructions from King Mohammed VI.
In an address before his party’s youth in Rabat on Monday, Benkirane said that King Mohammed VI’s senior adviser Fouad Ali El Hamma informed him of the pension, which he started to receive this year.
He acknowledged that the King offered him the pension when the King heard the former prime minister had financial problems.
“Where is the problem?” Benkirane asked.
During the meeting, the former official said that all four of his bank accounts were nearly empty, and he had only MAD 10,000 before the King intervened.
“I had MAD 10,000, and I asked my wife to be patient with me until I find a solution, and I did not want to ask for an extraordinary pension, because I have a dignity that I want to preserve.”
He said that PJDi ministers helped him to get through his financial crisis.
After his dismissal from the government, the prime minister was also looking for a job. He said that some relatives offered him work, but he could not accept it.
Benkirane also denied that his car belongs to the state, saying it was a gift from King Mohammed VI.
He added that he does not have a “villa nor an apartment.” He explained that he lives in a home that belongs to his wider family.
King Mohammed VI dismissed Benkirane in March 2017 after he failed to form a government coalition.