King Mohammed VI on Saturday vented the full extent of his anger against the public administration for its inefficiency, poor performance and sluggish services, and against political parties for failing to uphold their responsibilities.
In the Speech he delivered on the eve of Throne Day, celebrating this year the 18th anniversary of his enthronement, King Mohammed VI recalled the fundamentals of the Constitution and the urgency to implement them and stressed the rights and obligations of officials in their relations with citizens.
“The evolution witnessed in Morocco in the political domain and in the area of development has not led to the kind of positive reaction you would expect from political parties, leaders and government officials when dealing with the real aspirations and concerns of Moroccans,” he deplored.
The Monarch who had launched in October 2016 a pressing call to reform the public administration, pressed that point again and listed the shortcomings of the civil service. He urged governors, caids, directors, staff members, local officials, etc. to work hard, and to “show a sense of responsibility that does credit to the civil service and yields concrete results since these officials are entrusted with serving citizens’ interests”.
Morocco’s development policy choices remain sound, but “the problem lies with mentalities that have not evolved as well as with the inability to implement projects and to innovate,” the Monarch stated, adding that “given this situation, citizens are entitled to ask themselves: What is the use of having institutions, holding elections, forming governments and appointing ministers, walis, governors, ambassadors and consuls if they live on one planet, and the people and their concerns are on another one?”
He criticized the practices of some politicians who have perverted politics, diverting it away from its lofty objectives and of some elected officials that induce a number of citizens, especially young people, to shun political life and take no part in elections.
The Monarch also rebuked the opportunism shown by politicians and officials who, when results are positive, “vie for the spotlight to derive benefits from the achievements made, both politically and in terms of media exposure,” and expressed sharp disapproval of their tendency to hide behind the Royal Palace and ascribe everything to it, when matters do not turn out the way they should.
“If the King of Morocco is not convinced of the way political activity is conducted and if he does not trust a number of politicians, what are the citizens left with?” he asked.
“To all those concerned I say: ‘Enough is enough!’ Fear God in what you are perpetrating against your homeland. Either discharge your obligations fully or withdraw from public life. There are plenty of honest men and women in Morocco”.
“This situation can no longer be tolerated because the homeland’s interests and those of the citizens are at stake,” he said in a firm tone, underlining that the responsibility and the privilege of serving citizens call for action that goes from responding to their basic demands to implementing projects – big and small.
King Mohammed VI who insisted in his speech on responsibility, and answerability, stressed the need to apply rigorously the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 1 of the Constitution, which links public office with accountability.
“It is high time this principle were implemented in full. Just as the law applies equally to all citizens, it must be applied, first and foremost, to all officials, without distinction or discrimination, and in all of the Kingdom’s regions,” he said, adding “This is the dawn of a new era in which there is no difference between officials and citizens as far as civic rights and obligations are concerned; nor is there room for shirking responsibility or avoiding sanctions”.
“Morocco must come first: before political parties, before elections and before senior positions,” the Monarch insisted.