Morocco dismissed 4 ministers over delayed development projects
King Mohammed VI of Morocco
London, Oct. 25, 2017 (AltAfrika) — Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has dismissed four ministers over their involvement in delaying development projects in the northeastern city of Al Hoceima that was rocked by protests for months.
In an unprecedented move since his ascension to the throne in 1999, the king dismissed four running ministers, five former ministers and 15 public officials.
According to a statement from the king’s office, the affected ministers are Mohamed Hassad, minister of education, El Houcine Louardi, minister of Health, Nabil Benabdallah, minister of housing, and Larbi Bencheikh, Secretary of State in charge of Vocational Training.
The king also reprimanded five other former ministers, who are also incriminated by the investigation commission.
The list of dismissed officials includes also director-general of National Office of Electricity and Water Supply and 14 other lower level public service officials.
In 2015, Morocco launched Lighthouse of the Mediterranean, a large-scale development program in the northeastern province of Al Hoceima, but many of its projects have been marred by “delay or failure,” according to an official investigation committee set up by the king in June.
The delays were strongly criticised by the protest movement, which sparked a year ago when fish vendor Mouhcine Fikri was crushed to death after climbing into a rubbish lorry to retrieve his swordfish confiscated by police.
The king has asked the head of government to make propositions to replace the sacked ministers.
Currently returning to calm, Morocco has not witnessed any protest of this size since the pro-democracy demonstrations during the Arab spring in 2011.