RABAT, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Morocco's King Mohammed VI slammed on Saturday politicians and public officials for neglect of their duties, and failing to meet aspirations of the people.
The king said so in his speech to the nation on the occasion of the 18th anniversary of ascension to the throne.
He warned that the "evolution" in politics and development "has not led to the kind of positive reaction" when dealing with the real aspirations and concerns of Moroccan people.
He affirmed that the development policies remain sound, while the problem lies with lagging mentalities, as well as with the inability in practicing and innovating.
"The practices of some elected officials induce a number of citizens, especially young people, to shun political life," he deplored.
Referring directly to the alarming situation in Al Hoceima in northern Morocco, the king warned that political parties and their representatives are refraining from their duty, sometimes deliberately, and sometimes out of a lack of credibility or patriotism.
The situation in Al Hoceima has been tense since October 2016, when fish vendor Mouhcine Fikri was crushed to death after climbing into a rubbish lorry to retrieve his swordfish confiscated by police.
The demand for justice for Fikri in the northeastern region has evolved into a major grassroots movement to require greater government investment to create more jobs.
Morocco has not witnessed any protests of this size since the pro-democracy demonstrations during the Arab spring in 2011.