Morocco king names new government

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Morocco’s King Mohamed VI on Wednesday named a new government headed by a member of the ruling Islamist party, following a six-month political deadlock in the North African country.

Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othman, second-in-command of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) that triumphed in October elections, will lead a cabinet comprised of Islamists, liberals and leftists, the official MAP news agency reported.

Mohamed had named Othman premier last month.

The PJD came to power after the king relinquished some of his near-absolute control following Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2011, with member Abdelilah Benkirane heading a previous coalition government for five years.

But the party failed after last October’s polls to form a majority despite five months of intense negotiations -- the longest time Morocco has been without a government in its recent history.

It has been given the transport, energy, labor and family affairs ministries, MAP reported.

The National Rally of Independents (RNI), which came fourth in October polls, received the portfolios of economy, industry and agriculture.

The PJD was the first Islamist party to win an election in Morocco and the first to lead a government, raising concerns among many in a country traditionally among the more secular of Arab nations.