Unemployed young Moroccans challenged the Abdelilah Benkirane government. Last week, they won their case.
A Rabat court on Thursday (May 23rd) ruled in favour of the nineteen plaintiffs, ordering the state to hire them directly into the civil service without requiring an entrance exam.
The government was also ordered to pay them compensation dating back to 2011 – the date of an agreement concluded with former Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi.
Abdelilah Benkirane’s unwillingness to honour the pledge by his predecessor – to ease employment restrictions for some 3,500 graduates – had prompted the legal action, one of the plaintiffs told Aujourd’hui le Maroc last Friday.
“Culminating two years of waiting and protests, this judgment is to end injustice and elitism. The head of government has always displayed in public his refusal to recruit us,” Jamal Guilloul said.
“Today, the head of government no longer has any excuse for not complying with the commitments made by the state,” he added.
According to Mohamed Amine Sekkal, the spokesman for the unemployed graduates’ campaign, the verdict should finally open civil service doors to all those eligible under the 2011agreement.
“The hope is that government officials will display a real will to act upon this court ruling,” he said.
In the interest of restoring public confidence in the legal system, the government needs to respect the court’s decision, plaintiffs’ attorney Mohamed Ziane said.
“Benkirane really needs to honour the initial ruling, given that it is he himself who called several times in parliament for the courts to be involved so as not to obstruct the law,” political analyst Jamal Farhane told Magharebia.
Four days after the Rabat ruling, MPs quizzed the government about the case.
In a parliamentary question session, Istiqlal members pointed out that Benkirane’s government should have honoured all commitments made by that of El-Fassi.
The court ruling should apply to all graduates covered by the July 2011 agreement, the Istiqlal MPs said.
Habib Choubani, the minister in charge of relations between parliament and civil society, told lawmakers that the government would respect “the final decision of the courts”.
He also praised the independence of the judiciary, saying it could issue rulings against the government.
Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid, however, said that direct recruitment into the civil service without a competitive exam would encourage corruption. People should take the exam and enter the civil service on the basis of merit, rather than demonstrating outside parliament to pressure the government into giving them jobs, he said.
In other news related to employment prospects for young Moroccans, the National Human Development Initiative (INDH) marked its 8th anniversary on May 18th.
INDH funds have helped launch no fewer than 5,000 income-generating micro enterprises, Interior Minister Mohand Laenser said.
In addition to SME creation, the IMDH is also helping provide better equipment to operators in some professions.
Said Mourchid, the president of the Association of Traditional Fishing Professionals, told Magharebia that dozens of seamen had just received motors for their boats through the programme.
“This will enable them to improve their incomes, because it means they can travel further out to sea,” he said.