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Moroccan PM agrees to form coalition, breaks political deadlock

© Fadel Senna, AFP file picture | Morocco's new Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani in Salé on March 18, 2017

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-03-25

Morocco’s Prime Minster Saad Eddine El Othmani said on Saturday he had agreed to form a coalition government with five other parties, breaking nearly six months of post-election deadlock.

Othmani, from the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), was appointed as premier last week by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. He replaced PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane, whose efforts to form a government following October elections had been frustrated.

“The next steps will be deciding on government structure and ministerial appointments,” Othmani told reporters, surrounded by the leaders of the five other parties. “We need to move beyond previous obstacles.”

Othmani said the government’s priorities would include reinforcing stability, justice reform, education, rural development and energy.

Before Othmani’s appointment, negotiations had stalled largely over the insistence by the National Rally of Independents (RNI) party on including the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) in a coalition.

Both parties are among those now expected to form a new government. The other parties are the Popular Movement (MP) and the Constitutional Union (UC).

The inclusion of four smaller parties alongside the RNI is seen as weakening the PJD’s position, which analysts said was why Benkirane had resisted such an outcome.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-03-25

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