While a strong reaction from the government was expected regarding the Abdellatif Ouahbi affair and the scandal of the access to the profession of lawyer scandal, the government spokesman, Mustapha Baitas, kicked into touch, saying that this is a matter which concerns the ” minister only“, and that the latter was to decide on the subject in the hours following the press briefing at the end of the Council of Government held on Thursday.
The Moroccans therefore wisely waited for this famous clarification from the minister, which unfortunately never took place. It was total radio silence. No reaction or explanation has been provided by Abdellatif Ouahbi, who gives the impression of not having (and not wanting) to be accountable to anyone. Did he not say that “he is the minister and he is the one who decides”?
Thus, the silence of the Minister of Justice concerning the scandal of the competition for access to the profession of lawyer has only swelled and fueled the anger of Moroccans. Calls for the resignation of Abdellatif Ouahbi are increasing. Politicians, journalists, lawyers and Lambda citizens are calling on Ouahbi to hand over the keys and leave one of the most sensitive ministries, supposed to do justice to citizens, and not consecrate the ” nepotism ” and the ” favoritism“.
The Istiqlalian MP, Abderrahim Bouaida, is one of the politicians who called for the resignation of the Minister of Justice out of sens ” of ethics and dignity“, in the absence of a resignation of the entire government after this scandal.
” If we were in a country where institutions respect each other, the entire government would have resigned after this scandal and apologized to the girls and boys of the Moroccan people.“, launched Bouaida.
” We have barely begun to regain confidence in our institutions, the whole world has talked about us and our World Cup victories. And these are young people from disadvantaged families who have succeeded in their lives to become great players today. But the Ouahbi scandal came to spoil this momentum “, he lamented.
Thus, Bouaida gave a similar example of what is happening now, and which took place not long ago in Egypt, concerning a Minister of Justice who felt that children from disadvantaged backgrounds did not have the right to take part in judicial examinations. ” Following that, he resigned, because public opinion was against him, while Egypt is not a more developed country than us, nor more advanced than us.“, he specified the deputy Istiqlalien for whom the blunder of Ouahbi is more serious than that of the Egyptian minister.
” Mr. Ouahbi said that his son studied in Montreal and that he had two diplomas and that he has the means for it. There is no problem with that, but Ssi Ouahbi, you have also recognized that some politicians have entered politics with their money, and that they direct politics with their money. And you (Ouahbi), don’t you manage politics with your money and your position as minister by making your son succeed in the competition as well as several other candidates? Today, we have the list of results in front of us, and we see several surnames that look alike and are linked to politicians and other people known in the field of justice or otherwise. The question we are asking you today, Ssi Ouahbi, is where are the children of the Moroccan people in all this? “Questioned Bouaida.
In this regard, Bouaida wondered about the fate of young Moroccans who study today in public schools and universities. ” What are we going to do with them? What is happening is unacceptable and requires your resignation, morally and ethically, without anyone imposing it on you in addition to the apologies that must be presented to Moroccans. And the government is just as responsible as you“, he launched.
The FDG asks for an explanation
After the outbreak of the lawyers’ competition scandal, several questions were raised, including a letter addressed to the Minister of Justice, by Fatima Tamni, deputy of the Federation of the Democratic Left (FGD), who seized Ouahbi concerning ” overruns tainting the results of the written test for eligibility to practice the profession of lawyer“.
In this sense, the MP questioned him about ” the new methodology adopted to select candidates, namely that of the MCQ (Multiple Choice Questionnaire), instead of editorial topics related to legislation and the judicial system, which shows the candidate’s ability to analyze and decipher legal texts“.
Fatima Tamni also raised “ the poor management of the written exam organized on December 4, 2022, whether at the level of the unavailability of sufficient human resources in the process of supervising the exam, the spread of the phenomenon of cheating in a spectacular way among certain candidates without no intervention from proctoring staff, as well as the leaking of the written test of the morning and evening sessions a few minutes after the start of the exam“.
” At a time when Moroccan public opinion was waiting for the intervention of the Ministry of Justice and the opening of an investigation into these imbalances which affected the written examination for access to the profession of lawyer, and to punish any candidate involved in cheating, in order to preserve the principle of equal opportunities, we were surprised at the results of the written exam, since the number of admitted does not exceed 2.5% of the total of candidates, which confirms the Ministry of Justice’s approach of capping the number of successful candidates, in complete contradiction to the decision of the Minister of Justice, who regulates the conduct of the examination, since each candidate who obtains on average no less than 80 out of 160 is considered to have passed the written teste”, explains the deputy.
What is also surprising, Fatema Tamni continues, is” the participation of the Bar Association in the process of automatic correction of the written test, while its position was the rejection of the announcement of the exam and its boycott, in addition to the appearance in the results of the written examination of several surnames who have family ties with senior officials in the Ministry of Justice, presidents of the bar and lawyers who are part of the various orders, which shows a desire to monopolize this noble profession on the part of a certain category, and the deprivation of the children of the people of their chance to succeed and improve their social status“.
In this sense, the member of the FGD challenged the Minister of Justice, on ” the measures it intends to take to correct this situation and bring justice to the children of the people who have been deprived of their right to take the exam with equal and fair opportunities, to enable them to overcome the obstacles of poverty, marginalization , unemployment and thus restore confidence in state institutions?“, she concluded.
For his part, Isaac Charia, president of the Liberal Party (PL) and lawyer by profession, has bluntly announced that his party intends to seize the General Prosecutor’s Office, since suspicions of criminal violation are clearly mentioned (corruption, falsification of results, usurpation of identify…).
Sharia called on all candidates who consider themselves to have been unjustly rejected, to join the file drawn up by the PL and which will be sent to the public prosecutor, together with a request for an investigation into all the overruns widely revealed and denounced by different parties.
To be continued…