Hirak: General Amnesty Proposed Law Poses Dilemma for Parliament
Rabat – After MPs Omar Balafrej and Mustapha Chennaoui of the Federation of the Democratic Left (FGD) party introduced a law relating to a general amnesty for Hirak Al Hoceima activists to Parliament, the proposed law posed a dilemma for President of House of Representatives Habib El Malki, according to the weekly newspaper Al Ousbouea. Since the proposed law was tabled in Parliament, El Malki has been faced with its refusal by some Parliamentary party teams such as Popular Movement and Democratic Constitutional Rally, the legislative institution’s interference in the judiciary, and the silence of other Parliamentary party teams regarding the law.Although the Parliament can request a general amnesty according to Article 71 of the Moroccan Constitution, the weekly newspaper noted, there is a fear of interfering in powers, which has remained, according to customs and traditions, in the hands of the king since the time of Morocco’s independence. On the other hand, El Malki sought the help of other Parliamentary party teams, especially PJD, PAM and Istiqlal (Independence), and requested them to take responsibility and make a decision about the proposal in a meeting inside the House of Representative’s office, said the same news outlet. The Parliamentary representatives and presidents of Parliamentary party teams wanted, through this meeting, to put an end to the proposal before it reached a competent committee, to avoid any possible anger from the nation, the newspaper wrote.Al Ousbouea noted that the debate over the proposed law was not resolved yet, and the decision of approval or refusal has been delayed to another future meeting.The head of the Independence Party team, Noureddine Madiane, called for giving the floor to the nation deputies to talk about Hirak Rif’s sentence. It seems inconceivable that the Parliament remains outside the nation’s debate, especially that many Moroccan human right, political and cultural activists have condemned the “harsh” sentences against Hirak Rif activists. Head of Government Saâd Eddine El Othmani and El Malki responded favorably to Madiane’s call, the article concluded.Last month, Balafrej published a general amnesty draft law on his Facebook account relating to all social movements of the past two years. This came shortly after the Hirak Rif activists were given ‘heavy’ prison sentences ranging from 1 to 20 years for their involvement in the demonstrations that shook the Al Hoceima province from 2016-2017.