Moroccan king appoints new government including 7 women

By The Associated Press

Rabat: Morocco’s King Mohammed VI appointed a new government on Thursday, formed from a coalition of liberal and conservative parties and led by a billionaire businessman.

The National Independent Party rally has 24 ministers, including seven women, in Prime Minister Aziz Akhanouch’s cabinet.

Seven ministers have retained their positions, including important foreign and interior ministers. Nadia Fattah Alaoui, who served as tourism minister in the previous government, will be Morocco’s first female finance minister.

One of Morocco’s richest men, Akhanouch, was appointed as prime minister last month after his party secured first place in legislative elections with 102 of 395 seats in the lower house of parliament. He replaced Saad Adin El Othmani, whose Islamic Justice and Development Party suffered a crushing defeat in the September 8 election.

The PJD, which ran the government since 2011, secured only 13 parliament seats. After the election the PJD’s leadership resigned en masse and said that the party would join the opposition parties.

The new coalition consists of the RNI, the Authenticity and Modernity Party and the conservative Istiklal.

The ultimate power in Morocco rests with the king.

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