A new facebook page entitled "Together against the abuse of political power by the al-Fassi Fihri Clan" has called for a Valentine's day protest in front of the Moroccan parliament against prime minister 'Abbas Fassi Fihri's nepotistic excesses.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
'Abbass Fassi Fihri has steadily populated public service positions with his own kin. The list of high level officials from the Fassi Fihri clan is egregiously expanding, to the point where the opposition in the upper chamber in the Moroccan parliament is calling for an investigation into recent government hires made by the PM. Nepotism and clientelism have always been part of the socio-political fabric of Morocco. similarly the stronghold that Fassi (from the city of Fes) families have had over the apparatus of the state is historically undeniable. However, the current PM has taken it to a whole new level appointing his family members and friends at random to positions they are seemingly unqualified to hold.
Let us consider some of the high level political officials and public servants affiliated and benefitting from their ties with clan Fassi Fihri:
*Abdelmajid Fassi al-Fihri, son of the PM, allegedly slated to take over the presidency of the Moroccan news channel al-Ikhbaria.
*Nizar Baraka, son-in-law of the PM, Minister of Economic and General Affairs
*Mounir Chraibi, nephew of the PM, former governor of Marrakech and ex-head of the CNSS.
*Ali Fassi al-Fihri, nephew of the PM (from his step-brother Mohammed Fassi Fihri), Director of the ONEP and head of the Royal Football Federation.
*Yassima Badou, wife of Ali Fassi Fihri, current Minister of Health
*Taieb Fassi Fihri, Brother of Ali Fassi Fihri, current Minister of Foreign Affairs
It seems the PM is using state institutions to construct a fiefdom for his family and friends, while thousands of qualified educated Moroccans are loitering in squalor and unemployment. Nepotism and political corruption have long offset Morocco's potential for socio-economic and political development, its ability to provide for its citizens, and to guarantee a life of dignity and hope. it behooves Morocco's political elite to hold itself to higher standards of transparency and accountability, in order to build a meritorious and impartial public service. The opposition's demand for an investigation of Fassi Fihri's abuses will fall on deaf ears, but the facebook group and other outlets can at least serve to name and shame the practice.