Morocco still without government after 90 days

Prime minister-designate hasn't found allies, elections possible

10 January, 17:26

    (ANSAmed) - RABAT, JANUARY 10 - Morocco may face new elections after three months of talks have failed to produce a government, following the October 7 victory of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD).

    The country's king reconfirmed outgoing prime minister and PJD head Abdelilah Benkirane to lead what was supposed to be a new coalition government, but it currently counts the support of only 125 of the 395 seats in parliament.

    Even the alliance between the Islamists, the socialists of the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) and the conservatives still doesn't produce the necessary 198-vote threshold to win a confidence vote.

    A fourth ally is needed and the only one available, the liberal National Rally of Independents (RNI), continues to raise the bar on its requests.

    RNI, led by former Agriculture Minister and businessman Aziz Akhannouch, one of Africa's richest men, said it is willing to take part in the government only if the Independence Party, Istiqlal - a strong ally of Benkirane - is excluded.

    Aziz also asked that the Constitutional Union Party (UC) and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces Party (USFP) be included in the government, at which point Benkirane broke off talks.

    Morocco's Constitution says nothing on the matter, as it isn't provided for in the text.

    That leaves King Mohammed VI to find possible interpretations, without which new elections will be held.

    The naming of a new prime minister is also possible, but it would be a source of political tension that Morocco can't afford.

    The current situation is emblematic of the power relationship between the Islamist party and the royal palace, which wants a margin of sovereignty within the government.

    On Monday a scheduled Cabinet meeting deemed "strategic" was called off without explanation.(ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved