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Morocco’s Benkirane calls on party to move forward from crisis

Leader of the Justice and Development Party, Abdelilah Benkirane [file photo]

In a speech to the National Congress, the Moroccan Justice and Development Party (PJD) Secretary-General Abdelilah Benkirane said he did not regret his position as head of government.

Welcoming the courage of his party having gone through many years of militancy before leading the government, Benkirane felt that the PJD “best managed the government” with “a sense of responsibility” that others have not.

“We have always been the subject of conspiracies,” Benkirane added, calling on his party to set aside the conflicts, and to move forward.

Recalling the “commitment of the PJD to the citizen”, the secretary-general of the party stressed the importance of preserving it as well as the party’s internal principles. “No one is immune to mistakes or conflicts,” he said, adding that “driving a government” also imposes a price to pay.

Read: Benkirane vows to continue with reform path

In his statement, Benkirane expressed his awareness of the pivotal phase in which the party is now developing, reiterating the party’s determination to “redouble its efforts to pursue political, economic and social reforms and strengthen communication with citizens.”

Expressing concern about the ongoing pressure on “the democratic path in our country” and “further weakening of political parties”, the National Congress also called for “a new dynamic of reform”.

Benkirane also stressed the importance of addressing the socio-economic problems with a “global approach”, referring to the recent protests in the troubled Rif region. “We must treat the reasons and origins [of the protest movement] in depth.”

Read: Why remove Benkirane but keep his party?

The National Congress has been set to reconvene on 9-10 December and will include around 1,500 regional delegates.

“We have not made any major changes to the procedure we adopted at the 7th National Congress, with the exception of a few improvements and a rationalisation of the selection of congresses,” the commission’s Chairman Mohammed Yatim explained.

The change in procedure aims at better matching the selection of candidates and ensuring better representation of women and youth among the delegates in order to meet the required percentage of participation of 25 per cent.

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