Morocco's Minister of Youth and Sports Rachid Talbi Alami is facing calls to resign after he made offensive remarks towards Turkey and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a party congress in Marrakesh.
Morocco's Minister of Youth and Sports Rachid Talbi Alami is facing backlash after making anti-Turkey remarks during a party congress in Marrakesh.
Alami, a leader in the National Rally of Independents Party and a member of the country's governing coalition, made the offensive remarks during the opening ceremony of Summer University in Marrakesh on Saturday.
He alleged that Morocco's Justice and Development Party (PJD), that leads the governing coalition, was imitating the Turkish model, which he described as a "failure."
Alami's comments drew criticism from PJD members urging him to resign.
“Minister Alami must submit his resignation to the government, and his party must withdraw from governance,” Abdelaziz Aftati, a PJD member told Anadolu Agency.
“I am surprised to the fact that a cabinet member is criticising his prime minister, alleging that he follows the model of a foreign country. That comment is in itself an interference in the sovereign affairs of a country friendly to Morocco.
“The offence targeted Turkey, a country that respects Morocco and does not have any issue with our national affairs,” he added.
Khalid al Bouqrai, another PJD lawmaker slammed the minister’s comments, saying: “It is imperative that the state acts to dissolve the party, put an end to its harmful agenda and arrest its leadership.”
Many Moroccans have taken to social media in support of the PJD, calling for Alami to resign from governance.
“President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan has supporters and followers around the world and does not wait on your intercession or opinion,” according to Taoufik Najmani, a prominent Moroccan journalist.
The National Rally of Independents Party removed the minister's video containing the defamatory statement from its website and official YouTube account.
It's unknown whether the removal was to distance the party from Alami's remarks or a reaction to pressure.