Faced with a wave of protest, Aziz Akhannouch continues to arouse distrust in part of Moroccan public opinion. At issue: the recurring accusations of conflict of interest, fueled by his dual role as head of government and shareholder of Akwa, whose subsidiary, Afriquia, is one of the main Moroccan fuel distribution companies.
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While the continued fall in fuel prices, after high inflation, promises Aziz Akhannouch some respite, the mayor of Agadir continues to be extremely discreet in the media. Too much, say a number of observers, according to whom the head of government would win to express themselves more and explain their actions. Update with political scientist Mustapha El Mnasfi, teacher-researcher at Moulay Ismaïl University in Meknes.
Capcov: Has Aziz Akhannouch managed to get rid of his image as a businessman and embody his function as head of government?
Mustapha El Mnasfi: The label of “businessman” sticks to the head of government, despite his “disengagement” from the management of the family holding company Akwa Group. This can be explained by the fact that Aziz Akhannouch was known to Moroccans as a businessman before being known as a politician. In the past, other personalities from the business world, such as Driss Jettou, had nevertheless exercised the same functions.
But at the time, the street was the only place for mobilization and protest. Today, we have moved from mobilization in traditional spaces to digital mobilization. This makes it possible to mobilize a very large number of citizens of varied profiles, residing in distinct cities, and lacking leadership.
Is the almost total absence of communication from the head of government part of a deliberate strategy? Is it relevant?
We must first recall the controversy of December 2019, triggered by the remarks of Aziz Akhannouch during a meeting of his party in Milan, when he declared that he needed to “re-educate Moroccans”. Since this episode, Aziz Akhannouch has shown more circumspection.
The current government has adopted a communication strategy different from the previous one, based on the adage “too much communication kills communication”. It is not for nothing that certain ministers have declared that they belong to “a government of action and not of words”. It is a form of response to those who criticize its communication strategy, knowing that a government spokesperson organizes a press conference after each government council.
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But this is insufficient, it is necessary to set up a new communication strategy which takes into account the current context, because the citizens need to be reassured.
Isn’t there an original problem of mutual understanding between Aziz Akhannouch and Moroccan public opinion?
This government arrived in a difficult context. Moreover, Aziz Akhannouch does not govern alone, other actors and institutions influence his decisions. This does not mean that the government is not responsible, but rather that it would be appropriate to take significant measures in favor of citizens so that they suffer less from the impact of the various crises. This would help build more trust between the executive and the citizens, especially in this time of back to school Politics.