In January 2023, MoroccoLatestNews UK announced that the mayor of Rabat, Asmaa Rhlalou, president of the capital’s city council, had modified the council’s rules of procedure. This step restricted the councillors’ democratic rights, angering municipal councilors and citizens alike.
The Mayor of Rabat amended Articles 11 and 33 of the City Council’s internal regulations to limit the questions that councilors can address to her and to prohibit the audiovisual transmission of Council sessions.
The amendment to Article 11 states that “ written questions are addressed to the Chairman of the Board through the team. The number of questions does not exceed three, while an unaffiliated member may ask written questions, provided the number does not exceed one question “.
During the February session, the approval of the modification of the Board’s rules of procedure provoked an important reaction. The Justice and Development Party (PJD) group in the municipal council of Rabat filed a lawsuit against the executive office of the city council, after having voted for the modification of the internal regulations of the municipality and its violation of constitutional requirements and organic law of local authorities 113-14.
A source in the Municipal Council of Rabat, who confided in MoroccoLatestNews, revealed that the first session of the trial will be held on Thursday, May 4 at the administrative court of Rabat. The objective is to stop the execution of the decision at the next Board meeting to be held on the same day.
The entire case will be examined in several sessions to discuss its adequacy with the Constitution and statutory laws. The source pointed out that several groups within the Council contested this case and that it was even the subject of correspondence filed with the Wilaya.
According to a MoroccoLatestNews source, this case concerns a violation of the law related to the modification of article 11 of the Council’s internal regulations. Indeed, the total number of written questions during each session is capped at 20 questions, distributed according to the relative representation of each group. This is a violation of Article 46 of Organic Law 113/14, which did not specify a ceiling for written questions as a control mechanism and a space to raise various issues of interest in the management of public affairs.
According to the same source, this amendment hinders the role of the members of the Council to raise the observations and aspirations of citizens from different backgrounds, which leads to emptying the representative democratic mechanisms of their communication objectives and to undermining the rights and the freedom of expression guaranteed to the members of the Council.
Furthermore, the same source explained that “ article 48 of the organic law provides for the possibility of taking the decision not to open the session to the public. But this is related to the possibility of disturbing public order, which clearly means that the case is not at all related to making his work secret, not subject to public observation “.
Many times, MoroccoLatestNews tried to contact the President of the Council, Asmaa Rhlalou, about this, but to no avail. The mayor does not pick up.