One year after being mocked for saying that he knows the “exact color of the socks officials wear” – in an attempt to underscore his competence as Justice Minister, – Abdellatif Ouahbi is at the center of online mockery yet again.
On September 11, Ouahbi gave an interview to BBC Arabic. While the subject matter of the interview was whether or not Morocco will be accepting Algerian aid in the wake of the devastating September 8 earthquake, all attention turned to the attire of the minister, as many Moroccans seemed quite convinced he was wearing pyjamas for an interview with one of the world’s largest media organizations.
A wave of online mockery soon ensued. One Facebook user wrote, “I kept waiting for Ouahbi to come out with a statement, and there he was in pajamas… take a look at the ‘socks’ minister, it’s a scandalous joke to appear on foreign television in pajamas.”
Over the course of his mandate, Ouahbi, who belongs to the ruling party, the National Rally of Independents (RNI), found himself repeatedly at the center of public backlash.
On January 2 of this year, Ouahbi’s comments in the wake of widespread suspicions of nepotism in the national bar exam infuriated Moroccans. While speaking to journalists, he said that the reason why his son passed the exam was because he has two bachelor’s degrees from Montreal and ‘his father is rich and paid for his education abroad.’
Many Moroccans took offense at these remarks and accused the minister of undermining the country’s education system by suggesting that his son passed the exam because he had a better education abroad.
The minister soon after came out with a statement saying that his words were taken out of context, adding that he has the highest respect for Morocco’s education system.