The deputy of the Federation of the Democratic Left Party, Omar Balafrej, is blaming the ruling PJD for refusing to discuss the general amnesty bill he proposed nearly one year ago.
Rabat – Moroccan MP Omar Balafrej, the deputy for the opposition Federation of the Democratic Left (FGD) party has complained that the ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) prevented Parliament from discussing a general amnesty bill for the Hirak activists sentenced to prison over the 2016-17 protests.
In the 87th episode of his weekly “Podcast Politique” (Political Podcast), Balafrej said the PJD “refused to open a discussion of the bill concerning the general amnesty for Hirak prisoners” that he and his FGD colleague, MP Mostafa Chennaoui, proposed on June 29, 2018, just days after the activists’ sentencing.
Balafrej considers a general amnesty, under Article 71 of the Constitution, of utmost importance to the “building of new trust.” It’s the only thing, he added, which would make way for a “much-needed resolution.”
The PJD, Balafrej asserted, is the only party that has “relatively greater control” on decisions in Parliament.
“I’m not saying the Parliament has all the power, but it wields part of it, which it does not exercise,” Balafrej stressed.
Balafrej also recalled the bill he and Chennaoui proposed on June 21, 2018, to abolish the parliamentary pension scheme. He said the head of the Commission for Economy and Finance, Abdellah Bouanou, refused to discuss it in Parliament.
He called on Moroccan citizens to join 160 artists, intellectuals, and activists who signed a petition launched on April 23 by signing another online petition asking Parliament to give amnesty to the prisoners.
The signatories disapprove of the “heavy” sentences of 1-20 years given to 54 Hirak activists in June 2018. The Casablanca Court of Appeals upheld the sentences on April 5, 2019.