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Morocco: Benkirane's Democratic Government Committed To Social, Economic Reforms

 By Morocco News Agency Staff

Rabat, Morocco ... 3 February 2012 ... Morocco's new Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane addressed the core issues of his government in the context of the Arab World's "Awakening" in an interview with the Jordanian daily As-Sabil. Benkirane stressed that Morocco has produced its own unique model of reforms that is different from the rest of the Arab World. 

"Moroccan officials seized early on the message of the street and responded to it in a positive way, away from any ostracism or contempt for the calls for reform. In so doing, the Kingdom of Morocco has produced its own model that is different from those followed in other countries affected by the 'Arab Spring'," Benkirane explained.

All Moroccans have won, Benkirane argued, "for the population does not claim that the disruption of stability affected the activation and the pace of reform."

Benkirane noted that the populist movement and the street protests in Morocco were driven by real problems.

He praised Moroccan officials for realizing from the very beginning that the problems were real and therefore must be treated with all seriousness. Indeed, the reforms announced by King Mohammed VI in the Royal speech of March 9, 2011, "were brave and were followed by the new Constitution and other positive steps, leading to the organization of transparent and credible election."

Benkirane attributed his victory in the election to the climate of democratic reforms in Morocco enshrined by the King's reforms process.

Benkirane readily admitted that he was surprised by the extent of the PJD's electoral victory in Morocco. The party leaders, he noted: "expected to get 60 seats, but the people showed us confidence with 107 seats."

Benkirane acknowledged the socio-economic and governance motives of the majority of the PJD's voters.

"The people of Morocco elected us because we believe in justice," he stated. Benkirane reiterated anew his commitment to personal freedoms and his rejection of any imposed program that might impinge on the freedoms of individual citizens.

He stressed he knows that most Moroccans, including PJD voters, are not Islamists. Benkirane is cognizant that "the people did not elect us because we are Islamists and will apply religion as we see it but because we believe in justice and will apply it."

Benkirane emphasized the government's commitment to social, economic and good governance reforms.

The Moroccan government "firmly believes in this reform program, really wants to serve the country and not just come up with slogans for electoral purposes."

As the leading party, the PJD is facing the hardest challenge from the Moroccan electorate, Benkirane explained: "because many citizens see the PJD as the party most willing to enact reforms and change, most committed to the country's stability and the party whose managers have proven their reliability and competence."

Moroccans "do not wait for results in order to judge us, but only for demonstration whether our governance is free of patronage and corruption."

Benkirane reiterated his conviction that the economic problems of Morocco are the main challenge facing the country. The new era of reforms - that is, of establishing good governance and the fight against corruption - will evolve from the emergence of a new economic posture. He repeated his call for Western investments from Europe, North and South America and belittled the significance of Islamists being in power.

Benkirane stressed anew that "everyone understands that their interests lie mainly with a stable country."



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