Saturday, March 18, 2017

King names Saad Eddine El Othmani New PM


After months of failure to form a new government, Benkirane is gone and Morocco has a new Prime Minister.  On Friday HM King Mohammed VI appointed Saad Eddine El Othmani of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) as head of government and instructed him to form the new government
"The Ministry of the Royal House, Protocol and Chancellery announces that His Majesty King Mohammed VI received Friday 18 Joumada II 1438 of the Hegira, corresponding to 17 March 2017 at the Royal Palace in Casablanca, Mr Saad Eddine El Othmani, of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), whom the Sovereign has appointed as Head of Government in accordance with The Constitution and instructed him to form the new government" - communiqué from the Ministry of the Royal House, Protocol and Chancellery
Saad Eddine Othmani served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Abdelilah Benkirane’s first government between January 2012 and October 2013 and is seen as less "hot headed" than his predecessor, Benkirane. Morocco World News reports that Othmani is known for his wisdom and tendency to measure his words before making any public statement. He is also known to be a man of consensus, preferring dialogue to confrontation.

Many think that Othmani, who is the party’s second influential member after Benkirane, has the best profile to break the deadlocked negotiations to form a new coalition government.

Abdelilah Benkirane has welcomed that the King’s decision

For his part, Abdelilah Benkirane has welcomed that the King’s decision to dismiss him of his duties after five months of unfruitful negotiations with different political parties that resulted in a tenacious deadlock, adding that while it did in fact affect the party, the PJD was “proud of its journey” and its efforts in leading the country.

Saad Eddine Othmani

Saad Eddine Othmani is an Amazigh (Berber) Moroccan politician and psychiatrist. He was born in 1956 in Inezgane, near Agadir, in the Souss region. He obtained a Doctorate in Medicine from Hassan II University of Casablanca in 1986, and in psychiatry in 1994. He also earned Master and DEA degrees in Islamic studies in 1983, 1987 and 1999. He has written numerous books on psychology and Islamic law, and worked as the editor-in-chief of many magazines and publications. In 2004, after the withdrawal from politics of Abdelkrim Alkhatib, Saadeddine Othmani became the head of the Justice and Development Party (PJD).

While his appointment is generally accepted as a positive move towards resolving the failure to form a government, he has a long way to go to convince many Moroccans. In Fez, the word on the street is less than positive about Othmani. Much of negative talk, however, is more a reflection of the public's disillusionment with politicians in general than Othmani in particular. Time will tell if he can gain the confidence of the people.

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