New Moroccan PM moves to end political deadlock

All political parties that have been consulted showed an interest in joining future government except PAM.

New optimism. Secretary-General of the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) Ilyas el Omari (C) speaks at a news conference with new Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani (L) in Rabat, March 21st. (Reuters)

2017/03/26 Issue: 99 Page: 1

The Arab Weekly
Saad Guerraoui

Casablanca - Morocco’s newly ap­pointed prime min­ister, Saad Eddine El Othmani, completed the first round of consultations with political parties to form a majority government af­ter ousted premier Abdelilah Ben­kirane had failed to break the po­litical deadlock.

Othmani met with the leaders of the Istiqlal Party (PI), the National Rally of Independents (RNI), the Constitutional Union (UC), the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), the Popular Movement (MP), the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) and the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS).

All the political parties that have been consulted showed an interest in joining the future government except the PAM. Ilyas Omari, sec­retary-general of the PAM, issued a statement March 22nd following a meeting with the head of govern­ment at the PJD headquarters.

The statement stressed that the PAM was sticking to the communi­qué that was released October 8th, a day after the parliamentary elec­tions, rejecting any alliance except with parties that share the same political views.

Mohamed Yatim, a PAM member, said “the consultations do not automatically result in the participation of a particular party in the next government, but they must allow the designat­ed head of government to know which consulted political parties are capable of taking part in the next majority government”.

The RNI and UC expressed their willingness to join Othmani’s coali­tion government.

The 2017 budget hasn’t been ap­proved due to the political dead­lock, which might affect Morocco’s political and economic stability and reforms as the North African country is preparing to move from a fixed exchange rate to a flexible regime in the second part of the year.

The Islamist party won 125 out of the 395 seats for the Moroccan House of Representatives in Oc­tober elections, beating the PAM, which secured 102 seats. Morocco’s Istiqlal Party (PI), which dates to 1937, was third with 45 seats.

Saad Guerraoui is a regular contributor to The Arab Weekly on Maghreb issues.

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