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Members of Morocco's Justice and Development Party resign before party conference

Morocco's Secretary General of the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) and former prime minister, Abdelilah Benkirane on March 18, 2017 [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]
Morocco's Secretary General of the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) and former prime minister, Abdelilah Benkirane on March 18, 2017 [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]

The leader of Morocco's Justice and Development Party, Abdelilah Benkirane, is facing isolation from within his party and two members of the political leadership have resigned days before the party holds its National Council.

Sources told the ArabicPost that two members of the party's General Secretariat – its political leadership – resigned during the first two months of his new term as head of the party. The first resignation was submitted by Nawfal Al-Nasiri, while the second recent one was submitted by the party's finance officer and former minister Abdel Abdelkader Aamara.

They added that another resignation was expected, and these are signs that members "refuse to work" with Benkirane.

The Party's General Administration has also been hit with resignations with Abdessamad Sekkal, head of the Party's Training and Rehabilitation Department, stepping down, as well as Rachid Medouar, head of the Arbitration Body within the party.

Benkirane's main rival, Abdessamad Sekkal, who headed the Rabat-Salé-Kenitra region, has also resigned, but this was to be expected, the sources added.

However, the sources explained, these resignations are proof of Benkirane's isolation within the party, with members seeking greater clarity for the political group.

The Justice and Development Party was due to hold its National Council session at the end of January, however this was postponed for a month, saying it had been difficult to find a location to hold the meeting. It is now due to be held from 19-20 February.

Benkirane was elected on 30 October by the extraordinary congress after Saad Dine El-Othmani resigned following the party's abysmal election results in September. The party won only 13 seats compared to 125 seats in the 2016 election. It had led the government since 2011.

READ: Why did Morocco's Islamic party re-elect its former leader?

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