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Morocco minister of human rights: 'Corruption is no less dangerous than coronavirus in threatening country's security'

A general view of empty Hassan Mosque and it's surroundings during curfew as a precaution against the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Rabat, Morocco on 1 April 2020. [Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency]
A general view of empty Hassan Mosque and it's surroundings during curfew as a precaution against the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Rabat, Morocco on 1 April 2020. [Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency]

A senior Moroccan official has announced that corruption in Morocco is no less dangerous than the newly-emerged coronavirus in threatening the country's security and stability.

Mustafa Ramid, Morocco's minister for human rights, expressed that corruption is a type of virus, which: "If spread in a society, corrupts its political institutions, spoils its economic climate, and affects the principle of the rule of law and the achievement of justice."

In a live broadcast, concerning the topic of "creating political life through the law of illicit enrichment", Ramid added: "Corruption is an outrageous threat and an enemy of all positive aspects that can exist in any country and society. Self-respecting nations have enough legislation and measures in place to fight corruption. If there is corruption on the political level, there will be no free democracy. What is currently happening is that election traders are spoiling and investing in these events, and are buying votes. When they obtain representation of people, they use their position inside their elected institutions for illicit enrichment and making ill-gotten gains, turning the expression of the free will of citizens into a mere slogan devoid of content, and turning the parliamentary, governmental and representative institutions into only formalities spoiled by corruption. Therefore, there would be no real democracy with corruption."

"We do not think that there will be stability for a country that is witnessing corruption, because the people who live in an environment with no proper economic competition, no values ​​of transparency and integrity, and no fair justice, is open to unrest and the dangers of uprisings, revolutions, bloody confrontations, and confrontation of the influential and corrupt wealthy people, and they are mostly a minority," indicated Minister Ramid.

READ: Calls for Morocco to dismiss justice minister

He continued: "It is impossible to imagine a democracy with corruption. There are elected people circumventing and receiving bribes without leaving any traces. They may enter with zero dirhams and come out with a billion dirhams because of the absence of a legal framework for illicit enrichment. Fighting corruption cannot be achieved by establishing institutions, but rather by reviewing all legislations and ridding them of rent and discrimination between citizens."

Ramid pointed out that: "The economy can develop in a free competition and a sound economy. Competition based on corruption and the buying of dignities occurs instead of free competition. Corruption is a virus that eliminates good governance. As long as there is corruption and bribery, there will be no transparency, integrity and accountability values."

He considered that: "Corruption undermines the values ​​of justice and the rule of law. When everything becomes a commodity sold to whoever pays more, there will be no justice, no law and no human rights."

Ramid called for: "Reviewing the laws and putting an end to the rentier economy, because we have made great steps, and we still have more steps to go. We have to get rid of the cheapness of goods and transport of passengers to put an end to every gain that is not based on effort, legitimacy and customer service, and that still exists in some aspects of our lives. We should go further in this regard in order to rid public utilities of all forms of rent, and to enable some people, even those with disabilities, with rights without the specific type of this rent, in different and multiple areas, and in hunting licenses, etc. "

The Moroccan minister rejected the government's violations and abuses during their interventions to implement quarantine, although they are limited, according to Ramid.

"When there is intervention, these officials are not angels and it is inconceivable that everyone will carry out their work accurately. This should rather remain limited, and the perpetrator should be subject to disciplinary or restraining accountability," explained the minister, adding: "We have made important steps, and there are still many steps ahead in order to reach the state of right and law, in which every person who violates the right of citizens is subjected to the necessary accountability."

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