Morocco’s King Ousts Prime Minister

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has ousted Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane because of his failure to form a government five months after elections.

A surprise palace statement late Wednesday 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 garner enough of a majority to govern alone.

But the PJD’s relations with a former coalition partner, the conservative Istiqlal party, soured over economic reforms, and talks over formation of a government with the center-right National Rally of Independence have stalled.

The royal statement said the king made the decision “in the absence of signs that suggest an imminent formation” of a government and due to “his concern about overcoming the current blockage” in political negotiations.

Benkirane told Reuters he accepts the king’s decision.

“This is our king and he came to a decision under the framework of the constitution, which I’ve always expressed support of,” he said.

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