A few days after the proliferation of statements by political leaders on the intensive use of money for the purchase of votes, the Moroccan Association for the Protection of Public Property (AMPB), seized the presidency of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for the opening judicial information and the hearing of the outgoing Head of Government, Saâd Eddine El Otmani, of the SG of the PAM, Abdellatif Ouahbi and of the SG of the PPS, Nabil Benabdallah.
While the electoral campaign for the September 8 polls (legislative, municipal and regional) is in full swing, statements by partisan officials on the use of funds for the purchase of votes are flowing here and there to the point of not being leave the activists for the protection of public funds indifferent.
Thus, based on “statements to the press by the Head of Government, Saâd Eddine El Otmani, in which he confirmed that the funds are widely distributed during the elections which used the expression” it falls like in Gravelotte (like a violent rain) ”as well as other similar statements by representatives of the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) and the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), the AMPB National Office seized the presidency of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Damage to the credibility of elections
The complaint against X, of which MoroccoLatestNews FR holds a copy, was motivated by several reasons.
First, the AMPB considered that such declarations constitute an attack on the integrity and the credibility of the elections and of the constitutional principles related to transparency, competition and equality, especially since they were issued by the Head of Government, the only one empowered by the Constitution and the law to ensure the mission of overseeing the conduct of the elections under sound legal conditions guaranteeing fair competition between all the candidates. And to add that the government and its Head should be at the forefront of the institutions having to fight against these practices which undermine the credibility of the elections.
Secondly, the AMPB stresses that silence in the face of such statements and allegations made by public and political officials, and the abstention from intervening as well as the fact of taking no action against them, would be understood as leniency. towards the phenomenon, encouraging it and favoring candidates suspected of distributing funds.
The complaint is also based on the fact that these allegations, if they are proven, constitute a clear violation of the provisions of the law and are sanctioned by the Electoral Code.
The purchase of votes is repressed by law
In this context, the complaint specifies that article 100 of the Electoral Code stipulates the following: “Is punished by imprisonment from one to five years and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 dirhams anyone who has obtained or attempted to ” obtain the suffrage of one or more electors by donations or liberalities, in money or in kind, by promises of liberalities, favors of public or private jobs, or other advantages, in order to influence their vote, either directly or through a third party… Those who have accepted or requested the same donations, gifts or promises as well as those who served as intermediaries or participated in them are punished by the penalties provided for ”
The AMPB complaint also recalled the provisions of articles 102 and 103 of the Electoral Code, noting that article 102 stipulates that “is punishable by imprisonment from one to five years and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 dirhams anyone who offered, during the electoral campaign, donations or liberalities, promises of liberalities, or administrative favors either to a local community or to a group of citizens whoever they are, in order to influence the vote of an electoral college or a fraction of this college. And to emphasize that the penalties provided for in Articles 100, 101 and 102 are doubled, in accordance with Article 103, when the offender is a public official or an agent of the administration or of a local community. .
The AMPB insisted in its complaint, dated Tuesday, August 31, 2021, that statements were even published on the official websites of the parties concerned.
Ghalloussi: the prosecution should react
As a consequence of the various reasons raised, the AMPB asks the President of the Public Prosecutor’s Office “to intervene urgently and in accordance with the law and to order the opening of a thorough judicial investigation into all the statements and allegations made by officials and politicians concerning the alleged use of funds by certain candidates during these elections in order to protect the electoral process from any suspicion that could undermine its sanctity and the credibility of the results which will ensue ”.
In detail, the AMPB requests the hearing of the Head of Government and Secretary General of the PJD, Saâd Eddine El Otmani, of the Secretary General of the PAM, Abdellatif Ouhabi, of the Secretary General of the PPS, Nabil Benabdallah as well as any person or political leader. who can serve the survey.
AMPB is calling for the prosecution of anyone involved in this affair. Reached by MoroccoLatestNews FR, the president of the Moroccan Association for the Protection of Public Property, Mohammed Ghallousi, said that “Prosecutor’s office should watch over the application of the law as he has become accustomed to interacting with everyone. press releases and all that is written on social networks ”.
“So how is it that the prosecution does not act on these statements and allegations which have been widely distributed and which have even been published in press releases?” “, He wondered, stressing that” the prosecution proceeds by self-referral when it comes to cases relating to freedom of expression and does not expect referral from “.
“If these are proven facts about vote buying, prosecution should be launched against fraudsters and if they are political statements or political outbidding, we must of course prosecute those responsible. policies that damaged the credibility of the electoral events, ”he concluded.