Casablanca – Members of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) are denying rumors that the party is divided over a call to withdraw from the government.Claims were recently floated that PJD members launched a new call, dubbed “Heart”, to withdraw from the current government headed by Saad Eddine Othmani, and that this resulted in rift within the party because party members holding ministerial portfolios categorically rejected the initiative.The Moroccan daily newspaper, Assabah, reported Monday that proponents of the proposal, mostly followers of former Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane, called upon the party to convene an exceptional session of its National Council in order to “arrive at a final decision in regards to withdrawing from the government.” Indeed, Anass Hayouni, a member of the PJD’s National Council and head of the party in Germany, affirmed that the party should seriously consider pulling out from the government in response to the development of the situation following the unrest in the northern city of Al Hoceima.A member of the Justice and Development party that preferred to remain anonymous told Morocco World News that these claims have no foundation in reality, as it is the personal proposition “of a few individuals,” and it that was “not met by any consideration within the party.”There are two ways the government could be dissolved: either the government resigns from its duties, or the parliament is dissolved.It is very unlikely that dissolving the parliament could take place, as the constitution specifies that re-elections must be held within two months. It is a long expensive process that all the parties avoided during the political deadlock following Benkirane’s appointment at the Head of the Government in October.When asked about the possibility for the government to resign, which does not necessitate re-election, the PJD member pointed out that “the context does not call for such a decision”, and it would only mean relegating the party to the opposition, which the member said would mean “the voters’ democratic choice would be undermined.”Throughout the unrest in Al Hoceima, the government has been criticized for not taking any tangible action to respond to the mass protests. The wave of popular dissatisfaction began after secretary-generals of some parties constituting the government majority accused the protestors of being separatists. The subsequent retraction by the government and affirmations that the protests were valid calls of reform did not manage to temper protests were valid calls of reform did not manage to temper the dissatisfaction.
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