Morocco king names new government

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Morocco king names new government

Rabat, Apr 5 (AFP) Morocco’s King Mohamed VI today named a new government headed by a member of the ruling Islamist party, following a six-month political deadlock in the North African country.

Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othman, second-in-command of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) that triumphed in October elections, will lead a cabinet comprised of Islamists, liberals and leftists, the official MAP news agency reported.

Mohamed had named Othman premier last month.

The PJD came to power after the king relinquished some of his near-absolute control following Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2011, with member Abdelilah Benkirane heading a previous coalition government for five years.

But the party failed after last October’s polls to form a majority despite five months of intense negotiations — the longest time Morocco has been without a government in its recent history.

It has been given the transport, energy, labour and family affairs ministries, MAP reported.

The National Rally of Independents (RNI), which came fourth in October polls, received the portfolios of economy, industry and agriculture.

The PJD was the first Islamist party to win an election in Morocco and the first to lead a government, raising concerns among many in a country traditionally among the more secular of Arab nations.

Its 2011 win came after the king, whose family claims descent from the Prophet Mohammed and has ruled Morocco since the early 1600s, gave up some of his power when thousands took to the streets in peaceful demonstrations inspired by the wave of uprisings across the Arab world. (AFP) AQS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.