Moroccan king, in rare move, ousts designated prime minister

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — In a highly unusual move, Morocco's king ousted the designated prime minister in an effort to settle a five-month deadlock over forming a new government.

A surprise palace statement late Wednesday announced that King Mohammed VI had removed Abdelilah Benkirane, the head of the Islamist party PJD that won last year's parliamentary elections, from his duties.

"The king extolled, on several occasions, the designated prime minister to accelerate the creation of a new government," the statement said The king is expected to name another member of the Party for Justice and Development to replace Benkirane.

The PJD won the October election, but didn't get enough seats to govern alone and has struggled to form a coalition with rival parties.

The impasse has threatened to damage Morocco's reputation in the region for political stability after years of upheaval in the Arab world.

While ultimate power in Morocco rests with the king, he rarely intervenes directly in forming a government. He did so this time, the palace said, "to overcome the current situation of immobility" and "in his constant concern for consolidating democratic choice."

It was a big blow for Benkirane, who became prime minister after his moderate party won elections in 2011 for the first time in the wake of Arab Spring uprisings. Protests in Morocco prompted constitutional reforms granting more powers to the elected government.

The past PJD-led government was a coalition of parties from left and right, but tensions have since surfaced and Benkirane no longer enjoys the same broad support.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent Religion stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast