Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Rabat, January 3,2012
King Mohammed VI is expected today to announce the new government after five weeks of negotiations between the different components of the coalition and much speculation over the names of ministers.
The daily newspaper Al Massase reported on Tuesday that King Mohammed VI will receive Abdelilah Benkirane and the members of his government at the Royal palace in Rabat. Most would-be ministers received phone calls yesterday and were requested to be present today at the royal palace in Rabat.
According to radio station Medi1, the announcement will be made at 1 pm GMT. Most news outlets reported that the new government will include between 27 and 29 ministers, among which 25 from the coalition.
Well-acquainted sources reported that Abdelilah Benkirane conducted negotiations with M’haned Laanser, Secretary General of the Popular Movement, and Nabil Ben Abdellah, Secretary General of the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) over three ministerial portfolios, namely, Culture and Communication, Youth and Sport and Modernization of Public Sectors.
As a result of these negotiations, the Ministry of Culture and Communication will be entrusted to Nezha Skalli, from the PPS, whereas Mohammed Ouzzine will be in charge of the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
The government to be unveiled today by King Mohammed VI includes new names, such as Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Interior, Abdellatif Maazou (IP), Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Charge of Moroccans Living abroad, Youssef Amrani (IP) Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nezha Skalli (PPS), Minister of Culture and Communication and Mohammed El Guerrou (PM), Minister of Modernization of Public Sectors.
Other names that were included in the initial list have been either ruled out or entrusted with other Ministries.
This is the case of Mustapha Khalfi (PJD) who was believed to be the front-runner for the portfolio of Culture and Communication, Kajmoula Bent Abi (PPS), who was proposed to be Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Charge of Moroccans Living abroad, Abdelkader El Kihel (IP), proposed for the portfolio of Youth and Sport, El Ghali Kenza (IP), proposed to be appointed Minister of Education, Hamdi Oueld Errachid (IP) unfortunate candidate for the post of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Driss Merroune (PM), candidate for the portfolio of Public service.
For its part, M’haned Laanser will have to settle for another portfolio, as Aziz Akhannouch, outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is expected to be appointed Minister of Interior.
The party of Justice and Development will be at the helm of 9 Ministries, in addition to the Prime Minister, instead of between 10 and 12 as was announced by most news outlets 10 days ago, after Abdelilah Benkirane submitted his initial list to King Mohammed VI. The Istiqlal party will be in charge of 6 Ministries, whereas the PPS and PM will be allocated 4 portfolios respectively.
The list of Ministers is as follows:
Party of Justice and development:
Saad Eddin Ottomani: Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mustafa Ramid: Minister of Justice
Najib Bolif: Minister of General Affairs and Governance
Lahcen Daoudi: Minister of Higher Education
Abdlkader Amara: Minister of Commerce and Industry
Lahbib Choubani: Minister in charge of Relations with Parliament
Abdullah Baha: Minister of State
Bassima Alhquaoui: Secretary of State in charge of Family and Solidarity
Abdelaziz Rebbah: Minister of Equipment and Transport.
The Istiqlal party:
Fouad Douiri: Minister of Energy and Minerals
Nezar El Baraka: Minister of Economy and Finance
Youssef Amrani: Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mohammed El Ouafa: Minister of Education
Kayouh Abdessamad: Minister of Handicraft
Abdellatif Maazouz: Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Charge of Moroccans Living abroad
Party of Progress and Socialism:
Mohamed Ben Abdellah: Minister of Housing and Urbanization
Abdelouhaed Sahil: Minister of Employment
Lahcen El Ouardi: Minister of Health
Nezha Skalli: Minister of Culture and Communication
The Popular Movement:
Lahcend Haddad: Minister of Tourism
Mouhamed Ouzine: Minister of Youth and Sport
Mohammed El Guerrou: Minister of Modernization of Public Sectors.
While the appointment of Mh’aned Laanser as Minister has been confirmed by most news outlets, no information has leaked yet over the portfolio he will be entrusted with.
This is the first government after the adoption of new constitution in July 2011. This is also the first time in Morocco’s history that a moderate Islamist party will be heading the government.
Reporting from Rabat by Yassmine Zerrouki and Nidal Chebbak