In a formal statement issued by the royal cabinet on Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that King Mohammed VI would be relieving Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Boussaid, from his duties within the government.
The decision came after His Majesty had consulted with Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani and is in accordance with the powers of the monarch outlined in Article 47 of Morocco’s 2011 constitution.
The royal cabinet’s statement said that the decision was made as part of wider efforts by King Mohammed to hold authorities and officials accountable and responsible regardless of their status and affiliations. Boussaid’s dismissal is thought to be largely a result of the national outrage he sparked from the general populace by speaking out against a major boycott against high commodity prices, calling Moroccans who supported the boycott “madawikh’ (morons).
The dismissal follows on from King Mohammed’s customary speech on Throne Day, four days previously, and may just be the first step in the monarch’s plan to hold authorities accountable. In his speech His Majesty was highly critical of the social disparities he sees across the country and the failings of Morocco’s development model, which he said is not adequately meeting the demands of citizens.
A similar political decision was made last year when the King let go four ministers who were responsible for irregularities in the implementation of Al Hoceima development projects. This action was said to be a direct result of social movement Hirak Rif, which decried social injustices and a lack of development programs in the Rif region.
Mohamed Boussaid is a member of the National Rally of Independents party (RNI) and became Minister of Economy and Finance in 2013 during the tenure of former head of government Abdelilah Benkirane. He had previously held the position of Minister of Tourism and Crafts between 2007 and 2010.