Politics: pim, PAM, poum…

le 26 juin 2018

The soap opera which has lasted since the beginning of last summer has finally ended with the election of Mr Hakim Benchemas as Secretary General of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), replacing Mr Ilyass El Omari.

The PAM, which would now appear to provide the main parliamentary opposition to the majority government, especially the PJD, now has a genuine leader, despite the latter’s lack of charisma, elected by the party’s grassroots supporters.

Public opinion did not really hold its breath over the election of Mr Benchemas, who is also Chairman of the House of Councillors. It is true that the PAM, despite being the second largest party in terms of the number of parliamentarians, had for a long time vanished under the radar, from the news and, even more so, from the hearts and minds of the vast majority of citizens.

Because, in truth, the history of the PAM, which will celebrate on 10th August ten years since it was founded, has been a major fiasco. The aim of the party, which was founded ex nihilo, was to become the leading force on the country’s political stage.

Certainly, in the ten years since it was founded, the Tractor, a poor choice of name because it leaves everything fallow in its wake, has had as many as four general secretaries, Messrs Al Himma, Bakkoury, El Omari and Benchemas.

A plethora of parliamentarians have also joined it, who, as everyone knows, are consummate practitioners of transhumance, a practice which is also customary to livestock …

The party has also endeavoured to provide an alternative to a triumphal PJD, without, however, achieving the success hoped for by its founders. It has twice failed in successive legislative elections to become the No. 1 party on the political scene…

These different incarnations have not seemingly helped those who still believe that the PAM can be a useful and effective political platform in achieving its stated aims and goals.

Worse still, some would have us believe that the simple eviction of Mr Ilyass El Omari, of which nobody can be indifferent, irrespective of whether they are foes or acolytes, would be sufficient to restore to glory a party over which, for all intents and purposes, its leaders and elected members hold sway…

There is nothing to indicate, however, that the PAM is capable of achieving its aggiornamento, as has already been achieved, in more ways than one, by the National Rally of Independents (RNI), under the aegis of Mr Aziz Akhannouch.

Because, in addition to the lack of charisma and political experience of at least three of the four secretaries-general who have lead the PAM, there is an ongoing doubt as to whether the party is sufficiently appealing to the electorate.

It is not a question of whether it is capable of putting forward a political or electoral agenda or attracting candidates on the look-out for a label which is likely to generate benefits, honours, income or hard cash.

This modus operandi has been used several times before in modern-day Morocco without too much success. Any endeavour to reorganise the political chessboard requires much more than a blessing from the Powers-that-be, but rather, funds to generate patronage and to promote those who possess the qualities of populist showmen and who are purportedly capable of challenging adversaries.

There is no doubt, however, that Mr Benchemas’ assuming responsibility as PAM leader is entirely in keeping with the ambitions which led to the founding of this party.

But why would he succeed where his predecessors failed?

If it is to be believed that the various scenarios designed to reshape the political landscape are regularly studied and then implemented with a view to achieving future electoral success, then the PAM scenario should perhaps be thrown onto the garbage heap of history.

Establishing a forward-looking centre-left party is certainly still on the agenda, but this should not be done with actors who have clearly shown their limitations and their inability to assume their role as a credible alternative.

Because nothing can be done to patch the upper floors if the foundations are not solid!

If the strategists are already beginning to think about 2021, they may have to radically rethink their goals and the means allocated to achieving them.

But, believing that the PAM is still a valid option is probably not the best bet…


Original article : https://lnt.ma/politique-pim-pam-poum/