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News ID: 909
Publish Date: 12:02 - 25 April 2013
TEHRAN, YJC.-- Morocco's main Islamist opposition group said the country is run by a shadow government and warned dire social and economic conditions could cause an "explosion" among disaffected youths.
Fathallah Arsalane, spokesman for Al-Adl Wal-Ihsan (AWI) -- or Charity and Justice -- told AFP in an interview that his movement aspires to play a political role in Morocco where the group is banned but tolerated.

"We believe in democracy and we believe that we could become a political party but the government does not allow it," said Arsalane.

The Sufi movement, which advocates the establishment of an Islamic state through non-violent means, has been excluded from Moroccan politics for decades for openly criticising the king's power and wealth.

Arsalane insisted his movement was not calling for regime change, but said the coalition government, whose appointment following the introduction of a new constitution and elections in 2011 brought real hope of change, is toothless.

"There is a shadow government that controls everything, and the members of the current government are nothing more than a front," he said.

He also slammed the authorities for failing to improve living conditions in the North African country which is grappling with widespread poverty and high youth unemployment.

"The economic and social situation in Morocco is getting worse by the day," said Arsalane.

"Society has changed, there are more graduates, people who are better educated but who have nothing to lose, because they have no work, no house and no future.

"If the youth explode, no one will be able to stop them, not the political parties, nor the state, nor our movement. And that is what we fear," he said.

The moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development that heads the government has been struggling to contain the social and economic problems in Morocco which, being heavily dependent on European trade and tourism, faces a bleak outlook.

AWI is considered Morocco's most powerful opposition force and has pushed for reform but towards the end of 2011 it decided to withdraw from mass protests fearing demonstrations could lead to violence, according to Arsalane.

AFP

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