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Morocco’s King Replaces PM Benkirane | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Morocco’s King Mohammed VI holds a book during a visit, at the presidential palace in Abidjan June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

Rabat- Moroccan King Mohammed VI is replacing Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane and will ask another member of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) to form a government after five months of post-election deadlock, a statement from the royal cabinet said on Wednesday.

“The king has repeatedly urged Benkirane to accelerate the formation of the new government. But, after returning at the beginning of the week from a long African tour, the negotiations had not succeeded, with little prospect of a break in the deadlock,” the statement added.

It further said: “By virtue of the constitutional prerogatives of the King, as guarantor of the constitution and the good functioning of institutions, and defender of the supreme interests of the Nation and citizens, and consequently of his concern to overcome the current state of stalemate, the King has decided to appoint another political figure of the PJD as the new Head of Government.”

According to the statement, “the King has opted for this decision, among all the other options granted to him by the letter and spirit of the constitution, to accomplish his sincere will and permanent concern to consolidate the democratic choice and to preserve the achievements made by our country in this area.”

“All I can say is that of course I accept this decision, which falls in line with the constitution,” Benkirane said.

Mohamed Yatim, a leader in the Justice in the Development Party, revealed in a Facebook post that Benkirane called him at 10 p.m.. He wrote: “I had the feeling that significant developments had occurred. I was aware of recent information, including that Benkirane had requested a meeting with King Mohammed VI on Tuesday.”