Morocco World News with Agencies
Morocco World News with Agencies
Rabat, November 28, 2011
Things seem to be moving fast after the announcement of the final results of Morocco’s legislative elections held on 25 November. Lahcen Daoudi, Deputy Secretary General of the Justice and Development Party, said on Monday that King Mohammed VI is expected to receive Abdelilah Benkirane on Tuesday and entrust him with the task of forming a new government.
Daoudi said in a statement carried by Agence France Press that Benkirane, who led his party’s parliamentary elections, “will then start talks with the parties that should make up the coalition.”
In a press conference held in the party’s headquarters in Rabat on Sunday, following the announcement of his party’s win of 107 seats in the legislative elections, Benkirane told reporters that his “party remains open to other political parties, save for one political party with which we had big differences”, in a reference to the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), which obtained 47 seats.
The PJD’s Secretary General also expressed his party’s readiness to form a coalition with the parties of the Democratic Bloc (Koutla) made up of the outgoing Prime Minister, Abass El Fassi’s, Istiqkla party (independence), which obtained 60 seats and the party of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), which won 39 seats and the party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), which obtained 18 seats.
During the same press conference Benkirane stressed that, when appointing Ministers, the first criterion that will be taken into account is the “competence and integrity” of candidates and their willingness to serve for the “good of the country”.
In an attempt to convey a clear message that he is ready to compromise with other parts of the future coalition, while not jeopardizing the program of his party, he stressed that “it is not necessary that the largest number of ministers of the next government come from the PJD”.
The Secretary General of the moderate Islamist Party expressed that he is aware of the aspirations of the Moroccan people, as well as the social, political and economic juncture Morocco is going through, indicating that the next government is required to give positive signals to citizens.
The PJD does not hide the fact that it is in front of a huge challenge and that it has a lot to prove to the Moroccan people, who need to regain the trust element between politicians and the citizens.
In accordance with the provisions of the new constitution, the new prime minister will have the power to appoint government ministers and dissolve parliament.
This is the first time that the PJD will be entrusted with the task of heading the government, after it spent 14 years in opposition. In its first participation in the elections in 1997, it obtained 8 seats.
In the first elections held under the rule of King Mohammed VI in 2002, it obtained 42 seats and it 2007 it won 47 seats and came in second position after the Istiqlal party, which won 52 seats.
Since his enthronement in 1999, King Mohammed has won international praise for his effort to promote of human rights in the country and lay the foundations of a genuine democratic system. But the reform drive of his earlier years in power has lost momentum in the last few years.
When demonstrations inspired by the Arab Spring flared in February, The king responded by modifying the constitution to give the next parliament and prime minister more powers, and held early elections.
Reporting from Morocco by Nidal Chebbak and Yassmine Zerrouki.