“The way he spoke about discipline was like talking about punishment. Justice is the only institution to punish people, if someone violates the law,” Benkirane said.
On December 7, Akhannouch criticized people for lack of respect for the Moroccan state and its institutions, saying that some Moroccans should be “disciplined.”
The statement has not gone unnoticed, with Moroccan citizens and public figures slamming Akhannouch, also one of the wealthiest people in Africa, for his disrespectful remarks.
Benkirane has joined the list of the people who were unhappy with Akhannouch’s latest statement.
Speaking at the 5th Regional Youth Congress for the Justice and Development Party (PJD) held recently in Bouznika, near Rabat, Benkirane said that “everyone must be waiting for my response to what Akhannouch has recently said.”
The former head of government said that Akhannouch made a mistake by talking about discipline.
“It is not your right to say this Mr. Akhannouch. Disciplining people is not your duty,” Benkirane said.
The former PJD leader interpreted the word “discipline” as “punishment.”
“When Moroccans say discipline, they are talking about punishment. And justice is the only institution to punish people if someone violates the law. It is not your business to discipline anyone,” Benkirane said firmly.
The politician received loud applause for his statement at the congress.
He added, “We don’t understand what is meant by ‘Moroccans should do their job,’” referencing Akhannouch’s statement.
The agriculture minister, who is also the leader of the National Rally of Independents Party (RNI), said that “Justice is not the [only institution] that has to do its job, Moroccans should also do their job.”
“We don’t understand what he means. The least you can do is apologize to Moroccans, Mr. Akhannouch,” Benkirane suggested.
The politician also commented on a certain group of people, who recently appeared in videos criticizing the King and Moroccan state.
“Those people said some things that don’t make sense, but at the same time they said things that affect them. Nobody criticized them, but some criticized them for talking about the monarch in an unacceptable way in Morocco.”
Before addressing Akhannouch’s speech, Bekinrane spoke about the importance of the monarchy.
He emphasized that in Morocco “our state is 100% a monarchy.”
“Defending the monarchy is not one individual’s role, it is the role of all Moroccans, who believe in monarchy,” he said.
The former head of government said that the “monarchy system established itself as the best regime at least in this phase.”
“Our country went through several hard times, including the Arab Spring and we passed it in peace,” said Benkirane thanking the monarch for his approach to dealing with political crisis.