Fatima-Zahra Mansouri

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Fatima Zahra Mansouri
Mayor of Marrakesh
In office
June 2009 – September 2015
Personal details
BornJanuary 3, 1976

Fatima Zahra Mansouri (born January 3, 1976) is a Moroccan lawyer and politician of the Authenticity and Modernity party, and previously mayor of Marrakesh.[1][2]

On 23 June 2009, backed by the Moroccan palace,[3] which pressured political parties to counter the PJD through alliances, she was chosen by the city council elected members in a controversial election, as mayor of Marrakesh. Contrary to some media reports she was not the first women to attain this position, but rose to this office among a dozen other women who were co-opted by Morocco's government, through quotas, funding and pressuring of city council members[3][3][4][5][a]

Mansouri is a relative of Mohammed VI's friend, influential advisor and founder of the Authenticity and Modernity Party, Fouad Ali El Himma.[6]

Amidst the pressure of the Arab spring, Mansouri resigned the mayorship on 7 July 2011, but later retracted that decision[7]


Fatima Zahra Mansouri was born in 1976 into a family of dignitaries from the Rhamna (region of Benguerir-Kelaa des Sraghna). Her maternal uncle is Colonel Abdallah Mansouri, and she is the grand daughter of Ahmed Mansouri who helped Caid Ayadi, an ally of France and Pasha Thami El Glaoui against Moroccans resisting colonisation.[8]

She is the daughter of Abderrahman Mansouri, who was pasha (deputy governor) of Marrakech for eight years[9] and the ambassador of Morocco to the United Arab Emirates.[10]

She was educated in French schools in Marrakesh. She studied law in France, influenced by her father from a young age, watching his arguments in court.[9] Mansouri started her career as a lawyer, founding a law firm that specializes in commercial and real estate transactions.[1] She served as a municipal counselor for the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM).[5] Additionally she is a relative of the founder of the party, the king's friend, Fouad Ali El Himma, being the cousin of his brother-in-law.[6]

She is divorced and the mother of two children.[9]

Mayor of Marrakesh[edit]


In Morocco Mayors are chosen among city council elected members who elect one of theirs into that position. Fatima Zahra Mansouri won a seat in the city council in contested elections in 2009, after which she was selected for the position of mayor. Leaked US diplomatic cables reported that the palace pressured parties into electing members of the king's friend party,[3] the party also invoked their closeness to the king to achieve that goal.[3] The cable leak added the mayor selection process in Morocco is normally marred in bribes.[3] She was elected mayor of the city under the aegis of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) on 22 June 2009, defeating her rival, Omar Jazouli, the outgoing mayor of the Constitutional Union party, by 54 votes to 35.[11] The 75-year-old Jazouli may have been tainted by a "mini-scandal" in mid-May caused by a prostitute's allegations about his private life.[12] Jazouli have also suffered a campaign of defamation in the press, which launched a number of rumours about him, such as accusing him of being a homosexual.[13]

The next month, in July 2009, a tribunal court annulled Mansouri's election upon evidence of fraud presented by competing parties.[14][9] After the Front of Democratic Forces (FDF) filed a complaint, the court found that ballots had been issued early and some voting records had been destroyed. The PAM called for a 48-hour strike to protest the decision.[15] Thami Khyari of the FDF said the complaint was against the electoral process, not against Fatima Zahra Mansouri herself.[16] Mansouri challenged the verdict. In September 2009 the Administrative Court of Appeal of Marrakesh annulled the earlier court decision and declared that the election was valid.[17] The judge who first invalidated the election, Jaafar Hassoun, was later sacked and excluded from the judiciary.[14] Furthermore, a decision by Mohamed Naciri the designated lawyer of the Moroccan royal family, who then was minister of justice, banned Mr. Hassoun from even practising as a lawyer..[14] Some observers commented that this was an example of Fouad Ali El Himma "imposing his wills on the judiciary".[14]

Incumbent parties accused the authorities of actively promoting PAM in the 2009 elections, and criticized Mansouri for her lack of experience in politics.[18] Mansouri's father died on the evening of the election.[9] After taking up the post she announced, "I want to rule by example" and transferred her salary of 5,500 dirhams (480 euros) to cover the expenses of the municipal officials.[9]


A January 2010 profile in Jeune Afrique said that Mansouri had adopted a transparent, participatory approach, holding meetings with the citizens every week. She had vowed to eradicate poverty and attend to the woes of 20,000 households who have no access to drinking water or electricity. She also intended to readdress the tourism policy, based more on the tourism and hotel industry than on how to assist the poor. She announced that within six months of the start of her mayorship, revenues of the city had increased by almost a third.[9]

On 7 July 2011 it was reported that Mansouri had turned in her resignation to the city council. It was speculated that the cause was pressure from her deputy Hamid Nargis to accept his decisions.[19][20] Mansouri had also threatened to leave PAM, apparently due to an internal struggle over authority within the party. Also, some of the reforms she had made to the city organization and hiring practices may have offended vested interests.[21] The news caused a stir, but Mansouri was back at her office on the next day.[22] It was reported that she had received guarantees of non-interference in exchange for agreeing not to resign.[23]

In April 2012, Mansouri lashed out in an open letter against statements made by Mustapha Ramid, Minister of Justice and Liberties. He had been critical of tourism and tourists in Marrakesh. Mansouri said that given his position, his remarks had been irresponsible, had defamed the city and its inhabitants, and had violated the principle of tolerance.[24]



  1. ^ Asma Chaabi was the first female mayor in Morocco, serving in Essaouira during the period of 2003-2009.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Fatima Zahra Mansouri woman mayor of Marrakech". Afric.com. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Morocco's Marrakech elects first woman mayor". Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia) via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 21 June 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "MOROCCO,S MANAGED MAYORAL SELECTIONS". WikiLeanks. 14 July 2009. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  4. ^ "WOMEN LEAD MOROCCO'S "PETITE REVOLUTION"". US Embassy in Morocco. 14 July 2009. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Biography of Fatima Zahra MANSOURI". African Success. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b "لماذا لم يطرد حزب البام إلياس العماري بتهمة تحريض الصيادلة". الأسبوع. 16 January 2014.
  7. ^ "فاطمة الزهراء المنصوري تستقيل من عمودية مراكش". hespress. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  8. ^ "الكولونيل المنصوري يفتح علبة أسراره للأسبوع". الأسبوع. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Fatima Zahra Mansouri, first lady of Marrakech". Jeune Afrique. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  10. ^ "وزير الداخلية ومدير "لادجيد" في حفل عقد قران". Goud. 5 July 2011. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Buzzing Marrakech gets woman mayor". Middle East Online. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  12. ^ Maroc Hebdo. "FATIMA ZAHRA MANSOURI, AVOCATE, ÉLUE MAIRE DE MARRAKECH, LA TOMBEUSE DE OMAR JAZOULI". Lamarocaine. Archived from the original on 17 July 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  13. ^ "Affaire Jazouli : L'épouse de l'ex-maire dément tout !". Le360.ma. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d Ali Lmrabet (19 May 2011). "Fouad Ali El Himma, la voix et le bras de son maître". Demain Online. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Morocco mayor's unseating prompts strike calls". Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia) via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 14 July 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Les résultats des élections communales au niveau de la circonscription Menara dans la ville de Marrakech ont été annulés en vertu du jugement rendu, lundi 13 juillet, par le tribunal administratif de la ville ocre". Aujourd'hui. 2009-07-16. Archived from the original on 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  17. ^ "Fatima Zahra Mansouri reste Maire de Marrakech". bladi.net. 11 September 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  18. ^ Neue Bürgermeisterin (4 July 2009). "Frauenpower in Marrakesch – ein Porträt". Die Welt. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  19. ^ "Démission de Fatima-Zahra Mansouri" (in Arabic). Hespress. 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  20. ^ "فاطمة الزهراء المنصوري تستقيل من عمودية مدينة مراكش (Fatima Zahra Mansouri resign from vertical city of Marrakech)". Echoes Morocco. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  21. ^ Badra BERRISSOULE (2011-07-11). "MAIRIE DE MARRAKECH MANSOURI REFUSE LE DIKTAT DU PAM". l′économiste. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  22. ^ "Fatima Zahra Mansouri, maire de Marrakech, retire sa démission !". eMarrakech. 7 July 2011. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  23. ^ "فاطمة الزهراء المنصوري تتراجع عن الاستقالة (Fatima Zahra Mansouri retreat from resignation)". Echoes Morocco. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  24. ^ "Fatima Zahra Mansouri, mairesse de Marrakech dénonce les propos de Mustapha Ramid". achnoo. 7 April 2012. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-06.