Reports from Morocco World News show the nation's monarch, King Mohammed VI, has chosen to let go of some top-level members of his cabinet based on what he calls “serious dysfunctions” with a major infrastructure project linking two coastal cities, on which the Maghreb News Wire has previously reported.
Reports in Morocco World News Oct. 24 show a list of sacked ministers, including Mohamed Hassad, minister of National Education; El Houssaine El Ouardi, minister of Health; Mohamed Nabil Benabdellah, minister of Housing; and Larbi Benckheikh, secretary of state in charge of vocational training.
Additional officials received reprimands, including Lahcen Sekkouri, former Minister of Youth and Sports; and Lahcen Haddad, former Minister of Tourism.
According to reports, the king said he was “disappointed in (the ministers’) performance at their respective ministries, and (he) would never again entrust them with any public missions.”
The government is now looking for replacements.
Responding to the news that Morocco World News called “unprecedented,” Mahfuz Meherzad said such practices are actually pretty common in that part of the world.
“It's passing the buck,” Meherzad told Maghreb News Wire on Oct. 26. “This is a common tactic.”
He said when political heads of state encounter a lot of discontent, they often try to push the problem onto lower level officials.
“They're trying to really deflect blame,” Meherzad said. “They are very rarely going to take blame themselves.”
Meherzad cited the events around the 2011 Arab Spring, where Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, one day before his resignation, demanded the resignation of his entire cabinet. Protesters, Meherzad said, were calling out Mubarak by name, but his intention was to try to suggest that other parties were culpable.
As for the nature of the monarchy itself, Meherzad said on paper the system is much more parliamentary -- ministers run departments and the crown keeps itself largely out of some types of public affairs.
“The head of state is supposed to observe them from afar,” Meherzad said. “It’s not necessarily antithetical to democracy.”
However, he said, all sorts of problems can happen when kings and other heads of state get more involved in micromanaging public affairs.
King Mohammed ascended to the throne in 1999 after the death of his father.