Impact of Normalization: The Moroccan Ruling Party Faces Unprecedented Crisis

Impact of Normalization: The Moroccan Ruling Party Faces Unprecedented Crisis

The Moroccan Justice and Development Party, the leader of the government coalition, is experiencing an unprecedented internal crisis which exacerbated after the normalization agreement with the Israeli occupation state signed by its secretary-general and prime minister Saad Eddin El Othmani, months before the parliamentary elections.

Despite the severe split in the party after the normalization agreement of last December, Al-Othmani said that his responsibilities and position as a prime minister forced him to sign this agreement.
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Internal divisions

The reciter Idrisi Abu Zaid, thinker, and MP, announced that he would freeze his membership in the party, in protest against the party’s stance on normalization.

The party also faces severe criticism that normalization with the occupation state is not part of its agenda, which rejects all forms of relations with the occupation.

The party held a regular session of its National Council to discuss the issue of normalization.

Crises resurface again

The issue of normalization is not the only reason for the internal crisis the party is experiencing, but it started since the dismissal of the former Secretary-General, Abdelilah Benkirane in March 2017.

The Moroccan monarch Mohamed VI removed Abdelilah Benkirane from his position as a prime minister and appointed Othmani as his successor.

Since the formation of the government, the party has suffered from severe disagreements between its leadership, especially after the party’s parliament, rejected a proposal to amend its internal system, allowing Benkirane to run for the party’s leadership for a third term in 2017.

The internal dialogue that began in 2018 in an attempt to approach the general situation in Morocco did not succeed. Furthermore, Benkirane was not included in the list of participants in that internal dialogue.

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Resumption of relationships, not normalization

Rabat said that what was concluded with the Israeli occupation state is not normalization, but only a resumption of official relations that began in 1993 and were frozen in 2002.

Last December, Rabat resumed its official relations with the Israeli occupation state, coinciding with Washington’s declaration of its recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed Sahara territory.

Thus Morocco becomes the fourth Arab country in 2020 to sign the normalization agreement with the Israeli occupation, after the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan.

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