22-02-2024 03:43 AM Jerusalem Timing

Morocco King Names New Government Ending 3-Month Drift

Morocco King Names New Government Ending 3-Month Drift

Morocco’s King Mohamed VI appointed a new Islamist-led government on Thursday ending a months-long crisis triggered by the defection of a key coalition partner, a minister told AFP.

mgMorocco's King Mohamed VI appointed a new Islamist-led government on Thursday ending a months-long crisis triggered by the defection of a key coalition partner, a minister told AFP.

The king "has just appointed the new government" at a ceremony at the palace in Rabat, said Justice Minister Mustafa Ramid, a member of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party whose leader, Abdelila Benkirane, remains prime minister.

The cabinet shake-up sees Saad-Eddine El Othmani replaced as foreign minister by Salaheddine Mezouar, who heads the National Rally of Independents and whose agreement to join the government effectively prevented it from collapsing.

Six women also take cabinet posts, four of them from the RNI, compared with just one in the previous administration.

Also, a new education minister has been appointed after the king strongly criticized the outgoing government's education policy in a speech in August.

Benkirane's party has headed the government since triumphing in 2011 elections that followed the Arab Spring protests sweeping Morocco's main cities earlier that year.

But the coalition was threatened when the nationalist Istiqlal Party withdrew five of its ministers in July, accusing the PJD of failing to shore up the economy and solve pressing social problems.

The Islamist premier managed to avert fresh elections by persuading the RNI, a party that opposed the government programme adopted last year, to join the coalition.