Vidéo – Ouahbi seeks “royal pardon” in favor of cannabis peasants in the Rif area

PAM Secretary General, Abdellatif Ouahbi, has recently unveiled his party’s “political vision” in the short and medium term, on the subjects of cannabis cultivation and Rif detainees.

“Moroccan MPs shall be up to the task upon their meeting at the upcoming spring session, ahead of the elections”, Al lissaba program guest, Abdellatif Ouahbi, revealed.

The program was broadcasted on both Med radio and kifach TV, hosted by Redouane Ramdani, Omar Cherkaoui and Younes Da Faqir.

“Electoral matters are quite essential at this stage; however, this shall not obscure the work awaiting our MPs during the next spring session”, Ouahbi stressed. “There are several important subjects to be discussed throughout the session, including that on cannabis legal use, as well as other economic and financial matters resulting in Covid-19 pandemic”, he added.

Regarding the bill on the legal use of cannabis, PAM’s SG urged his party’s MPs to deepen their debate over the matter, by setting the floor for a productive dialogue with their political counterparts, as well as the other concerned legal bodies (subject to the bill in question).

“As a parliamentary group, we are required to schedule a series of meetings with our elected bodies in all of Ketama, Taounate, Al Hoceima, Tangier and Larache”, Ouahbi said.

+ For a general amnesty + 

“What matters the most at this stage is to generate legal pardons to all farmers charged with cannabis cultivation, for it is foolish to maintain the same sanctions if the bill on cannabis is approved”, Ouahbi stressed. “However, high-scale drug lords still need to be sanctioned accordingly”, he noted.

“There are several bill-related issues that still need to be addressed”, PAM’s SG revealed. “As a party, we are committed to organizing a conference – to which international experts will be invited – in order to learn more about the medical and pharmaceutical uses of cannabis”, he added.

Ouahbi further refuted that his plea for such a pardon is not meant to serve his party’s electoral propaganda.

“Questions related to cannabis cultivation in Morocco have been raised ever since the protectorate; therefore, it is difficult to change this agricultural activity in certain areas. It is time for cannabis cultivation to be put within a legal frame”, Ouahbi said, pointing that such a cultivation shall be organized into cooperatives.

“Our approach suggests creating factories and cannabis processing laboratories near plantations (in cities like Chaouen and Nador), as to provide the people in these areas with job opportunities”, Ouahbi underlined, noting that his party’s vision tends to” create job opportunities and improve people’s living conditions within these regions”, provided that cannabis prices shall be determined in accordance with the international market’s nominal value.

Ouahbi also pointed that PAM has previously urged the Moroccan government to support lab-investors in order to ensure a flawless drug production.

+ Hirak Rif detainees deserve a second chance+

In his response to Rif related issues, Ouahbi stated that his party is committed to seek amnesty for all detainees, as part of PAM’s “humanitarian, ethical and human rights” duties.

“If our party is to win the next legislative elections, we will be seeking royal pardon to all detainees”, Ouahbi revealed. “I believe that Rif detainees deserve a second chance (from a humanitarian point of view); therefore, I have no problem seeking a royal pardon in this regard, if I am to be the next head of government”, he added.

“My call for an amnesty has nothing to do with the party’s electoral propaganda”, Ouahbi pointed. “Back in 2019, I urged the Minister of Justice at the time, Mohamed Aujar, to solicit a royal pardon”, he recalled.

“Upon my recent visit to Al Hoceima, I learned that the issue on Rif detainees is at the heart of the region’s occupations”, Ouahbi emphasized, noting that such an issue goes as far as our families and children; therefore, it shall be dealt with as soon as possible.

“The Moroccan state has been more open to the Rif region upon King Mohammed VI’s reign. During this time, the region’s potential rose to the surface, allowing for the people of Rif to interact with the rest of Morocco, in the prospect of bringing upon significant investment opportunities”, Ouahbi stressed.


+ PAM’s political approach… + 

With regard to PAM’s propaganda, Ouahbi stated that a commission (comprising eight experts), chaired by Adib Benbrahim, developed a post-Covid economic recovery plan, and worked on formulating the party’s developmental vision.

“We are currently focused on the party’s electoral program, as we tend to cover several political and economic aspects in the process. PAM’s electoral program shall be published in the form of a book, which is likely to be issued by the end of Ramadan. The book will explain our vision regarding several sectors, such as health, education and agriculture”, Ouahbi revealed.

Ouahbi also recalled urging Morocco’s PM to hold a meeting with the parties’ SGs, as to discuss economic alternatives in light of the pandemic.

It is impossible for Morocco to boost its economy by adapting “a relatively conservative approach that brings upon imminent consequences to the entire economic system”, he stated.

“Morocco’s present and future PMs are required to make bold decisions in order to encourage investments, contract loans, create jobs and revive the economy. It is time to launch several high-volume projects that cover infrastructure, highways, high-speed trains, and others, as to create job opportunities. Besides, contracting loans shall not be an issue, as long as they are intended for investments”, Ouahbi stressed.

Moreover, PAM’s SG called for ending all sorts of state property cessions, noting that the state’s main role is to facilitate investments and consolidate Morocco’s capital.


+ End of an era and the start of another + 

“I am, hereby, declaring the end of an era, and the start of another”, Ouahbi said.

“I have always been in favor of reconciliation, provided that when I was elected as the party’s new secretary general, I openly told my fellow politburo members that certain aspects shall come to an end”, he added.

As for the misunderstandings that are likely to arise within the party, Ouahbi stressed that his fellow militants are in the process of adjusting to the party’s reconciliation approach.


+ Relations with PJD party + 

With regard to PAM’s relations with the Justice and Development Party (PJD), Ouahbi revealed that both political formations rather share consultative relations.

“PAM’s and PJD’s militants have opened a dialogue on the draft law relating to cannabis. Upon their discussions, it became quite obvious that each of the two parties has developed its own approach to the laws on cannabis and education; however, we have to understand that PJD never had a conflict with PAM, but with its majority. In addition, we believe that PJD shall be more focused on settling things with the parties that constitute the government”, he noted.

“When joining a governmental formation, parties are required to develop programs and create new institutions; yet, executioners always fail to settle conflicts between the parties that constitute the government”, he added.

 + New political perspectives +

“Morocco had better chances, compared to its neighbouring countries”, PAM’ SG highlighted.

“Morocco managed to ensure favourable electoral conditions back in 2011 and 2016, and is now on the path to hold the 2021 elections as well. The kingdom’s successful approach to the elections leads us to believe that our people have reached mature political levels, allowing them to keep pace with the constitutional stipulations in this regard”, Ouahbi stressed, noting that time has come to reflect on a series of amendments to be made within the constitution.

“Morocco has been adopting the 2011 constitution within several political contexts; however, the year 2022 stipulates reviewing some of its articles in light of Morocco’s political developments”, Ouahbi stated, noting that the constitution features two major aspects that require further analyses, namely Article 47, in order to avoid any sort of blockage when the government is formed, in addition to the laws related to institutional censure (the higher council for education, corruption competent bodies, etc) within the house of councillors, as well as other questions related to regionalism.

“We shall also review the articles regulating local communes”, Ouahbi explained, highlighting HM’s great ambitions for his people and country.

Regarding the new governmental composition, Ouahbi stressed that there is no room for businessmen within executive bodies, to avoid any conflict of interest.

Ouahbi also declared that in order for the government to remain homogeneous, the latter shall not feature more than 3 or 4 parties at most.

As for PAM’s potential alliances in the days to come, Ouahbi indicated that his party still has no clear vision over the matter.

“For now, it is safe to say that the opposition parties (our allies) have priority over others – from an ethical and political point of view – if we are to form a governmental majority, Ouahbi affirmed.

“I am currently in touch with PPS Secretary General, Nabil Benabdellah, and Istiqlal SG, Nizar Baraka, for they have shown sincerity in the work conducted so far; however, when it is time to lay the foundations for the new governmental coalition, we will see how things will turn out to be”, Ouahbi stressed.


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