Dr. Saaduddin Al Othmani, the Secretary-General of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) called for resisting all election violations on time by all legal means, renewing his calling all PJd members to work for foming a strong and full state of real mobilization by all legal means.
This comes ahead of the election process in Morocco scheduled to start next September, 7th, 2007 and after leaked reports that there are several election violations just before the coming elections, making the party members observe and document these election violations and contact concerned authorities, specially after Al Othmani expected a rise in these violations in the coming days.
Al Othmani expected, in his meeting with the media advisors of the deputies of the lists nationwide, that his party will have the biggest effect in coming period, given that the PJD is drawing a broad section of citizens and economic and social activists.
The city of Al-Faqih Bin Saleh has witnessed an election violation in one of its constituencies. The municipality chief exploited government facilities in arranging meetings for his supporters and exploiting other government facilities like electricity service and construction licences!
Abdullah Baha, the leader of the PJD bloc in parliament and the party’s under secretary-general told Ikhwanweb that another election violation was committed in city of Rabat . The city mayor exploited the municipality’s cars for the sake of elections. A lawsuit has been filed against him. We are waiting for the court ruling.
Bahaa said about the coming elections:” They allow them as a party to have a direct contact with and listen to people. However, they require more preparations and efforts. The Under Secretary General of the Justice and Development Party in Morocco "the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot there" added that his party will field candidates in all constituencies and that the administrations of the election campaigns are working day and night and everything is moving smoothly.
Bahaa didn’t deny that there are election violations, but he said that the political life in Morocco hasn’t reached a real democracy, which depends on a real competition between rival parties.
He summed up the party’s reaction to the election violations, saying:” We try to monitor, document and curb the violations in addition to contacting authorities to prevent them”.
Regarding the expectations of the next coming election process, he said that they will be better than the previous ones, attributing this to the presence of international observers and an international monitor to the party’s experience after the victories of Islamic experiences in Egypt , Palestine and Turkey .
Bahaa said about the prospects of the Islamic experiences in countries where they won elections like Egypt and Palestine :” There are lower prospects that this may happen in Morocco because of realizing only a partial democracy and changing the election process into a peaceful one.
The Justice and Development Party "Muslim Brotherhood offshoot in Morocco " raised several questions during the last period, prompting answers from the party.
Is the Justice and Development Party a religious party?
The Justice and Development Party is not a religious party or a religion-based party. It is a national political party based on citizenship and national affiliation. It opens its doors for every Moroccan citizen who believes in its societal project within framework of current laws and works according to mechanisms and tools of the political action. However, the party proudly boasts that its platform has an Islamic source of authority which is the same source of authority for both society and government. Consequently, the Justice and Development Party is not a religious party in the full sense of the word that makes it a human bloc whose basis is religion, but its basis is citizenship.
What is the meaning of a political party with an Islamic source of authority?
It means that its projects in reform are characterized by Islamic values and are in line with the creative interaction of the achievements of the human civilization.
How will the Justice and Development Party deal with opposing movements?
We believe in democracy and expansion of public freedoms. Therefore, we respect intellectual disagreement, and reject any restriction or aggression against it, provided that all this is exercised as prescribed by law.
What’s the party’s attitude towards women’s political participation?
Women’s political participation is necessary for the development of societies. Therefore, our party urges women to have more presence in the political action, so as to achieve in cooperation with men requirements of the public affairs. Thus, women have a presence across the organizational hierarchy of the party. They are given many missions according to their experience a efficiency. Also, the party has six female MPs in parliament and many female advisors are members in several municipalities.
Will your party impose the veil on women if it assumes power?
We are against imposing the veil, but we are also against imposing removing the veil from women’s heads. Every woman is free to do what ever it sees as good according to her convictions.
What is your attitude towards constitutional reform?
We are aware that the constitutional must be reformed. We have said this in all our documents and platforms. However, we have two conditions for this to happen: first: that it takes place in an atmosphere of agreement and mutual consent, not in an atmosphere of dispute. Second: that it takes place in parallel with a comprehensive political reform that includes reforming the party scene and reforming the election system.
Has the party backtracked on its principles when it decided to run for the legislative body and taking part in running public affair?
The Justice and Development Party did not backtrack on its principles and convictions when it decided to have a political participation. It actually works hard to translate and activate them on the ground, and is keen also in front of the many various obstacles it faces, to gradually apply its programs.
What is the relation between the Justice and Development Party and the Unity and Reform Movement?
Many members of the Justice and Development Party are also members in the Unity and Reform Movement. However, both organizations are independent from each other, and attitudes of one organizations aren’t necessarily the same of the other. The movement is a civil society body while the party is a political organization and every body has its field.
What is your relation with the Tajdded newspaper?
The Tajdded newspaper is the mouthpiece of the Unity and Reform Movement. It doesn’t belong to the PJD politically, administratively or financially. Thus, the party disclaims any attitudes issued by this newspaper. However, we consider The Tajdded newspaper a PJD leaning newspaper.
Your problems is that you overblow moral issues at the expense of other issues and problems, and you discuss them as if you were a missionary (Da’wa) movement, not a political party?
The ones spreading such claims do not want to the party to continue. Some of them even demanded the party be dissolved after the hideous May, 16th incidents. They do not want the political work to be scrupulously practiced. They only seek personal richness and interests at the expense of public property and societal interests.
The method Justice and Development Party is contrary to this. It sees that the main development is developing human beings as much as material, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions are concerned. This method is derived from an Islamic source of authority and we are proud of this. Also, the party, its political attitudes and its initiatives aren’t sidelined by moral issues. The program which we presented to the public and media two years ago was based on five balanced pillars: Originality-Sovereignty- Democracy-Justice-Development.