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Did Morocco’s USFP file a complaint against Spain’s far-right Vox party ?

After a trip to Madrid, the Secretary-General of Morocco’s Socialist Union of Popular Forces announced that his party filed a complaint against Spain’s far-right movement Vox. The information was later debunked by a Moroccan lawyer, who lodged the complaint in question as head of an association based in Spain.

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USFP's Secretary-General Driss Lachgar. / Ph. DR

Earlier this week, media reports suggested that Moroccan political party Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) lodged a complaint against Spain’s far-right Vox movement for «hateful and racist speech».

Quoting Arabic-language daily newspaper Assabah, Le360 wrote on Friday that the Moroccan party, headed by Driss Lachgar, had assigned its «regional secretariat» in Spain with starting the procedure against Vox, which managed to gain 24 seats in the parliament following the recent general elections.

Speaking to Arabic-language newspaper Hespress, the head of USFP said on Wednesday that his party’s allies in Spain «commissioned a lawyer to file a complaint against Vox because of its hateful and racist» statements against Muslims and the Muslim community in the Iberian country.

To Lachgar, USFP is the party behind the complaint against Vox

Contacted Saturday by Yabiladi, Lachgar doubled down on his prior declarations, stressing that his party is, indeed, in the process of dragging the Spanish far-right party through the courts. «During Spain’s general election campaign, right-wing parties, including Vox, competed in escalating racist and hateful slogans against immigrants», Lachgar explained.

Lachgar believes that the «Moroccan community residing in Spain was highly affected by Vox’s hate speech». «This situation has allowed right-wing parties to win votes based on electoral programs and slogans that were filled with hatred, directed at Spanish people of foreign origin, including the Moroccan community that felt terrified and targeted as a result», the Moroccan politician told Yabiladi.

Referring to the reasons behind the campaign launched by his party against Vox, Lachgar said that «members of USFP’s regional branch in Spain urged Moroccans residing in the country to use their voices and participate to elections».

Moreover, Lachgar told Yabiladi that his party commissioned Hilal Tarkou Halimi, a member of USFP in Spain, to «lodge a complaint against Vox».

A lawsuit lodged by a lawyer and the head of an association

Trying to get further details about the complaint «lodged by Morocco’s USFP», Yabiladi reached Moroccan lawyer Hilal Tarkou Halimi, who went against Lachgar’s narrative. Speaking to Yabiladi on Saturday, Halimi revealed that USFP had nothing to do with the complaint filed against Vox.

The Moroccan lawyer, based in Spain, said that he was the one behind this lawsuit, targeting the hateful speech adopted by the far-right political party: «It is not the first time that I file a complaint against a far-right party (…) the same thing happened in 2011, when I filed a lawsuit against an extremist Catalan party which was dissolved», Halimi recalled.

«I am, indeed, a member of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces in Spain and I have a great connection with this party (…) but this complaint that I filed is not linked to my political inclination as it is more of a patriotic act».

Hilal Tarkou Halimi

While Lachgar insisted that his party instigated the lawsuit, Halimi begs to differ, clarifying that the lawsuit in question was filed «on March the 20th, after [he] was sent a video in which Vox members made racist comments».

A copy of the complaint lodged by lawyer Hilal Halimi against Vox. / Ph. DRA copy of the complaint lodged by lawyer Hilal Halimi against Vox. / Ph. DR

«I think Lachgar made an unfortunate statement, as I acted in my capacity as head of an association and not as a member of a Moroccan political party», Halimi argued.

On the other hand, USFP’s regional secretary in Spain Aicha Al Karji told Yabiladi that attorney Halami «filed the complaint against Vox as head of an association in Spain». «As a regional political party, we are not allowed to file a lawsuit», Al Karji explained, adding that the initiative was «personal and that the party has endorsed it» as it «goes in line with its policy».

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