Morocco’s PJD may have sidelined Amina Maelainine from party visibility, but they will have to continue dealing with her punchy public statements.
Rabat – After Morocco’s ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) sidelined her for association with a scandal, MP Amina Maelainine is intent on setting the record straight. The “disappointed” MP is now exposing what she sees as political “cowardice” at the heart of the PJD.
Speaking to France 24 Arabic in her first televised appearance since making headlines for appearing without her traditional Islamic veil in Paris, Maelainine took issue with the lack of conviction in a party she still represents at the Moroccan Parliament.
“The PJD is not an angel party,” Maelainine told France 24 Arabic, later suggesting in the interview that she has grown disappointed with how the PJD deals with controversial issues.
“I have paid the price of my choices,” Maelainine said. Firing her most lethal verbal shot in the interview, she added, “There is cowardice at the PJD.”
On regional politics, Maelainine said that she is very happy with Tunisia’s recent political reforms to grant Tunisian women the same rights as their male compatriots. The suggestion, for somebody who has been adamant about her right to make independent choices, is that she would like to witness the same changes in Morocco.
Without appearing to want to resign from her current seat as a PJD MP, Maelainine told France 24 that her political future does not necessarily lie with the PJD. She said she may join a party that is more in line with her convictions.
In an earlier reaction on Monday this week, Maelainine defied the PJD leadership, saying that she would not be silenced in her fight.
But the France 24 interview is so far Maelainine’s harshest criticism of the entire PJD culture. The comments are not, however, the first time the MP has appeared to reproach her party for a perceived lack of political conviction or coherence.
“I know some leading PJD members who are very open on the question of the hijab. Their stances are indeed very liberal. But they can’t openly express their ideas because of party and social constraints,” Maelainine said in a March 9 interview with a Moroccan paper.