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Moroccan PM: My Relation with the King Is Based on Obedience, Advice, Coordination | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Morocco’s Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane speaks during a news conference at the 17th session of the Moroccan-Tunisian Joint High Commission, in Rabat June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer (MOROCCO – Tags: POLITICS) – RTR33OL4

Rabat – Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, leader of the Justice and Development Party, was, as always, honest during his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat online when talking about the latest developments in Morocco and the upcoming elections in October 07.

Benkirane is confident that the government is founded on trust, adding that politics is not mathematics but it teaches the person to learn to overlook some things. He said that over the last five years in the government, he learned that reform is a long process that requires a lot, yet it is possible.

When asked about his experience as a prime minister, Benkirane said that he learned that reform is a long, hard process that should not be abandoned. He added that not everyone might agree on reform, but someone has to take responsibility, like he’s done, and end his political career positively.

The PM said that during his term, he maintained a good relationship with the king which led to a mutual amicable relation.

He explained that the unity at the government was real despite the tension with Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs. He added that the way he ran the government depended on trusting the ministers while taking into consideration the state of certain ministries.

When asked about how he dealt with situations when the minister of interior didn’t allow his party to have a rally, Benkirane said that politics was never mathematics. He added that despite being the PM, he couldn’t overrule the minister’s decision. He explained that the minister considered the situation and made a decision which could have been right.

According to Benkirane, politics teaches the person to pass over certain things and that the government and Morocco’s image require sacrifices.

When asked by Asharq Al-Awsat about his biggest mistake, PM explained that it was more of a misunderstanding rather than a mistake. At the beginning of his presidency, he said he didn’t understand the kind of relation he was supposed to have with the king’s advisors, which was later explained to him and boundaries were set.

He added that the boundaries determine the kind of relations he is supposed to have with the advisors set by the king. He considered his statement regarding the advisors back then a mistake, so he apologized to the king and his advisors.

Despite all, Benkirane regards his term positively and admits that certain things went wrong and others right.

When asked about Authenticity and Modernity Party, PM said that it only exists in media without any real representation publically. He added that it is a non-existent party that imposed itself through

media, money, and businessmen. According to Benkirane, the party doesn’t even have a real address and is practically absent from all main cities.

Benkirane admitted that the Authenticity and Modernity Party owns means and methods to attract voters which his party lacks. He bluntly stated that this is a “backed party”.

He predicted that once his supporters back down, the Authenticity and Modernity Party will fall.

When asked about his predictions for the October 07 elections, Benkirane said he felt excited about the elections and expected to exceed the 2011 elections when they won with 107 seats.

In his response to the reasons that led for his candidacy, Benkirane said he wanted to test his popularity as person and not just as a part. He added that people of Sala city know that if he doesn’t win in the elections, his political career will be over.

Benkirane believes that the Federation of the Democratic Left is an ideological opponent. He added that he views them as a serious party within the democratic process. According to Benkirane, the Federation of the Democratic Left is a small party now with no parliamentary representation, which can be changed after the elections in case it wins.

The prime minister said that it is about time Morocco got rid of the puppets in this country.

He added the extremism results from elimination of partners in the country and he believes that the integration of all in the political scene is a positive thing.

With respect to the elections, Benkirane is supervising the elections, whereas ministries of interior and justice do the actual and field supervision.

The PM said that the state is based on trust and added that the king is very keen on the integrity of the elections.

He added that he was appointed by the king to monitor the elections, yet the Ministry of Interior is the main component in this process with the partnership of the Ministry of Justice.

Benkirane concluded that the elections will be monitored by everyone, and once something suspicious is discovered, actions will be taken.