Participation in Anti-boycott Demonstration Costs a PJD Minister his Portfolio

Minister of General Affairs and Governance, Lahcen Daoudi, was forced to resign after his participation in an anti-boycott demonstration triggered an uproar of discontent within his party, the ruling PJD, which is leading a coalition government.

The General Secretariat of the Party for Justice and Development announced Wednesday evening it has accepted the resignation of the Minister of General Affairs and Governance, Lahcen Daoudi, describing as “inappropriate” his participation Tuesday in a demonstration of employees of Centrale Danone.

Centrale Danone, Moroccan subsidiary of a French dairy company, has been subjected, along two other companies (Afriquia Gas and Sidi Ali water company) to a consumers’ boycott since April 20.

The company announced this week heavy losses estimated at 150 million Dirham for the first half of the year, or a 50 percent drop of revenue, and the layoff of 886 temporary workers. The company also slashed by 30% the quantity of milk it collects from dairy farmers.

Employees of Centrale Danone staged downtown Rabat, Tuesday evening, a protest demonstration against the boycott campaign targeting dairy products of the company. On his way to Parliament, Lahcen Daoudi stopped by to participate in the demonstration. He was caught on video chanting and even suggesting slogans to the protesters.

The behavior of Lahcen Daoudi, initially bound by the duty of reserve, angered the militants of the PJD, its bases, its elected officials and its leaders, who unanimously condemned him.

In a statement issued after an exceptional meeting held on Wednesday night, the PJD General Secretariat, chaired by Saad-Eddine El Othmani, said it agreed with Daoudi’s request to resign as minister.

The PJD General Secretariat considered “unfounded” and “inappropriate” the Minister’s participation in the demonstration, the statement said.

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