Ill-management Cost Morocco’s Finance Minister his Job

The decision by King Mohammed VI to fire Economy and Finance Minister Mohamed Boussaid continues to draw the attention of the Moroccan media and analysts who have been trying to find other interpretations of such a decision.

The Royal palace said in a statement that Boussaid was dismissed in line with Article 47 of the constitution and in implementation of the accountability principles.

The dismissal also comes after multiple calls by the King in previous speeches for officials saying that “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”.

Moroccan media mentions that the finance ministry has delayed payments leading to stalling projects in Al Hoceima.

The issue of the liberalization of the oil sector has also come to the fore as the measure did not benefit citizens but rather distributing companies. The price of oil was among the issues that emerged in a popular boycott launched last April.

Boycotters complain that despite the drop in the international market, oil importing and distributing companies made unethical profits estimated at 17 billion dirhams according to MPs.

The issue of the insurance company Saham that was sold to South Africa’s Sanlam for $1 billion has marred Boussaid’s management of the finance ministry. The media said that there is a conflict of interest between Boussaid and the owner of Saham Moulay Hafid El Alamy, who holds the portfolio of industry, as both belong to the same RNI political party. El Alamy is accused of benefiting of a preferential treatment in the 2018 appropriation bill that deprived the state of tax revenues estimated at more than 420 million dirhams.

The dismissal of Boussaid came after the heads of the Central Bank and the Court of Accounts submitted to the King reports pointing to serious economic and financial dysfunctions.

Abdelkader Amara of the PJD party will replace Boussaid until a new minister is appointed.

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