Morocco: senior Justice and Development Party official quits ministerial post

Morocco's Minister of State for Human Rights, Mustafa Ramid, has resigned from the government. The surprise move by the senior official in the Justice and Development Party came a few days after a prominent colleague, Abou Zayd Al-Mokri Al-Idrissi, resigned from the party because of the concessions made in relation to ending advocacy of the Arabic language and accepting normalisation with Israel.

Sources reported previously that Ramid, a member of the General Secretariat of the Islamic party that leads the government coalition, has been tackling his ministerial duties from home to express his dissatisfaction with the "declining human rights" situation in the country. His resignation letter was addressed to Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani. Rai Al-Youm has obtained a copy and reported that Ramid said that he is no longer able to continue tackling the responsibilities entrusted to him due to health reasons. He asked the prime minister to submit his resignation to King Mohammed VI, in accordance with the terms of the constitution governing requests for ministers to be relieved of their duties.

The Moroccan Prime Minister denied any link between Ramid's resignation and the expected visit to Israel of a government delegation headed by himself. He described rumours to that effect as "lies and fabrications".

READ: Benkirane confirms Justice and Development's position on normalisation with Israel

Al-Idrissi, the Mayor of Fez, revealed that he had resigned from the presidency of the National Council of the Justice and Development Party as well as the party's General Secretariat. "With great sorrow and regret, and after exerting a great deal of patience, endurance, forbearance, hesitation and perhaps delay, I present with a saddened spirit to the esteemed Council my resignation from the presidency of the National Council of the party, and subsequently from the party's General Secretariat."

He explained that he took this decision because he can no longer tolerate, understand, explain or accept what is going on inside the party, nor can he change it. "Hence, I cannot cope with the matter from this post or remain as a mere witness."

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