Despite government promises as early as November 2018, the scientific study has still not been released.
Rabat – The Moroccan government has reiterated that that keeping the Daylight Saving Time (DST), also known as the GMT+1 all year around is not a source of concern.
On Tuesday in Rabat, the minister delegate for Reform of Administration and Public Service, Mohamed BenAbdelkader, said that GMT+1 year around has no impact on health.
The statement is part of the first findings of a “scientific study” ordered on the adoption of DST throughout the year.
At the House of Councillors, Benabdelkader said that the adoption of DST throughout the year has “no impact on health from a scientific point of view, according to a study adopted” by the ministry.
He added that his ministry will release the findings of the study soon. However, the government previously promised to release the study findings when they initially adopted the GMT+1 policy.
On October 26, 2018 the government council adopted Draft Decree 2.18.855, adding 60 minutes to the standard time in the country.
The decision angered many Moroccan people who condemned the decision. The announcement of the change came only days before the country was set to turn back the clocks one hour with the end of DST on October 29, 2018.
Defending its decision, the government claimed that it had prepared a study that shows the decision to switch to GMT+1 year round was based on an evaluation study.
On November 1, the spokesperson of the government, Mustapha El Khalfi, also promised that the government would issue the study used in the decision to stay on the DST “next week” in November 2018.
To date, the government has not yet disclosed the findings of the study.
In addition to El Khalfi, Benabdelkader also argued that the decision was based on a study that started in May 2018, and the government received the preliminary results of the study on October 9, 2018.
The official also claimed that the study aimed to evaluate the reaction of Moroccan citizens to time changes.
He also claimed that “we found that 68 percent of [Moroccans] prefer stability. The decision to maintain daylight saving time is a political decision.”
He also argued that the study’s indicators included “health aspects related to time change, energy saving and Morocco’s commercial transactions.”
Calls to release the study
The decision generated anger not only from citizens but also from parliamentarians, who urged the government to release the study.
MP Abdellatif Ouahbi called on the government to reveal the study that the government claimed to have conducted on time change.
Ouahbi, a member of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), told Morocco World News that if the change is based on a study, “I want to see these reports.”
Morocco now switches between GMT and DST only twice a year, rather than 4 times.
Previously, Morocco switched the clock every summer to Daylight Saving Time, GMT+1, and returned to the old standard time, GMT, for a period when Ramadan fell in the summer. After Ramadan, Morocco switched back to DST for the remainder of the summer, and then returned again to the old standard time every winter on the last Sunday in October.
After the adoption of Decree 2.18.855, Morocco now changes g the clocks only twice for Ramadan.