Mohammed Amekraz: The “Surprise” Minister

The head of government and leader of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) Saad-Eddine Al Othmani was right when he described Mohammed Amekraz as a “surprise minister” on the day he was appointed in the second Islamist government as Minister of Employment and Professional Insertion, succeeding his colleague Mohammed Yatim. Indeed, the man is a new figure with no history within the Islamist Party and no one expected him to obtain this post. He himself was surprised by this, according to what his relatives say.

Mohammed Amekraz is considered to be one of the most important assets of the PJD, despite the fact that he does not have a well-known activist background. Therefore, the party has suggested him in the government of competences called by His Majesty King Mohammed VI. However, some people believe that he was chosen as part of a deal to buy his silence, as he is a follower of Abdelilah Benkirane, and one of his fiercest defenders.

He is one of the young leaders of the party. He joined the PJD from the education sector, as do many of its members. He assumed a number of organizational responsibilities within the Party’s youth before being elected as National Secretary in February 2018. He also served as a member of Parliament from 2011 to 2016.

Amekraz was born in Tiznit in 1978. He worked for six years as a teacher in a public school before becoming a lawyer after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in private law in 2002 and, subsequently, a master’s degree in business law in 2012 from Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech.

Mohammed Amekraz was not known as one of the PJD leaders. However, he became one during the trial of the party’s youth detainees, accused of praising the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey via social media. He volunteered to defend them and appeared regularly in the media during the presentation of the progress of the trial, as well as participating in sit-ins organised in solidarity with them, believing that their trial was of a political nature and had nothing to do with praising terrorism.

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