Morocco king names new Islamist-led govt


RABAT: Morocco’s King Mohamed VI appointed a new Islamist-led government on Thursday (Friday in Manila) ending a months-long crisis triggered by the defection of a key coalition partner, a minister told Agence France-Presse.

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.



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