Deviating from normal electional procedures, members of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) opted for kicks and punches to decide on their leaders.
Rabat – The election day at PAM’s national congress turned into a brawl, with several attendees sustaining injuries.
Videos documenting the fiasco have gone viral on social media.
حزب الأصالة والمعاصرة نايضة عندو من هاد المنبر بغيت نقول لجميع الأحزاب كيفاش غادي تخدموا أبناء الشعب ونتوما حتى بيناتكم ممفهمينش أي واحد فيكم همه الوحيد مصلحتو فقط
Posted by MBV Officiel on Saturday, 8 February 2020
While footage taken from inside the congress hall recorded the fight, other videos taken outdoors show party members lying on the ground, almost unconscious.
نايضة بالمعقول “كروشيات” في مؤتمر البام
Posted by جريدة العالم 24 on Friday, 7 February 2020
In one of the videos, an attendee explains that a large number of party members did not find their names on the attendance list. The members then proceeded to enter the congress venue in force, leading to the wild and violent quarrel.
The party has not yet released an official comment on the incident.
PAM’s national congress took place in the city of El Jadida, 100 kilometers southwest of Casablanca, between February 7-9, with the elections taking place on the last day.
Abdellatif Ouahbi, a deputy at the House of Representatives, became secretary-general of the party. Ouahbi was the only member running for the position after his contenders Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah and Samir Belfkih abandoned the election race.
The new secretary-general replaces Hakim Benchamach, who assumed the leadership role in PAM since May 2018.
The event also saw the election of Fatima Zahra Mansouri as president of the party’s national council.
Sunday’s incident is not the first time a political meeting has turned into violent clashes.
On October 6, fighting broke out at the Popular Movement (MP) party’s headquarters in Rabat, during the party’s national council.
Party members were supposed to come up with a list of names to form MP’s political offices. However, the members were divided into two camps and could not agree on one list. The disagreement quickly evolved into a brawl.
Police officers intervened to put a stop to the confrontation and ambulances provided medical care to several injured members.
According to a recent report from Morocco’s Court of Auditors, Moroccan political parties spent more than MAD 116 million (nearly €11 million) in 2018. More than half the expenses, about MAD 66 million (around €6.2 million), are contributions from the state.
The Moroccan government grants financial support to political parties to cover their management costs and the expenses of national congresses.
According to the report, seven political parties, out of 34 that benefit from financial support, spent 86.71% of the total amount of expenses.
PAM had the third-largest expenses, spending more than MAD 16 million (around €1.5 million), while MP had the fifth-highest, with their spendings exceeding MAD 14 million (about €1.3 million).