Morocco parties announce coalition government deal

Morocco’s Prime Minister-designate, Aziz Akhannouch, announced on Wednesday that his party has reached an agreement to form a coalition government with the two other parties that came out on top in the legislative elections held in early September.

In addition to Mr. Akhannouch’s liberal party, the Rassemblement National des Indépendants (RNI), the coalition will include the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), also liberal, and the center-right Istiqlal Party (PI).

“This choice is based on the will of the people, since the three parties managed to convince the voters by obtaining a large majority,” said Mr. Akhannouch at the RNI headquarters in Rabat, alongside representatives of the other two parties in the coalition.

It is also based on “our programs that largely intersect and adopt the same social and economic priorities,” he added.

Aziz Akhannouch was appointed by King Mohammed VI to form the government after his party won the legislative elections on September 8, taking 102 of the 395 seats in the House of Representatives and ousting the Islamists who have been in power for a decade.

The entrepreneur, one of the kingdom’s leading fortunes, has chaired the RNI since 2016. He had been Minister of Agriculture, a key portfolio in Morocco, since 2007.

The WFP, which came second in the legislative elections, was founded by current royal advisor Fouad Ali El Himma in 2008 before he resigned in 2011.

By taking part in the new executive, the WFP is putting aside its differences with the RNI. Relations between the two parties were strained during the election campaign, with a WFP leader accusing the RNI of buying votes.

“This majority confirms that when good wills join together, they create miracles,” said Abdelatif Ouahbi, secretary-general of the WFP.

The Istiqlal party came close to the WFP in the legislative elections. Founded in the late 1940s, it is Morocco’s oldest political party, the one that led the kingdom to its independence.

Now discussions will continue on the distribution of ministerial portfolios in the new government.

“The most important thing for us is to respond to the popular will, install a climate of trust and develop a coherent government program,” said Istiqlal’s number one, Nizar Baraka.

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