El rey de Marruecos nombra al multimillonario Akhannouch para encabezar el gobierno tras la victoria electoral

El rey de Marruecos, Mohammed VI, nombró al empresario Aziz Akhannouch para dirigir un nuevo gobierno después de que su partido liberal RNI derrotara a los islamistas de larga data en las elecciones parlamentarias..

The king appointed Akhannouch “head of the government and tasked him with forming a new government”, following Wednesday’s polls, a statement from the palace said on Friday.

The RNI won 102 of parliament’s 395 seats, trouncing the moderate PJD Islamists, which had headed the governing coalition for a decade but took just 13 seats, according to results released by the interior ministry.

Akhannouch hailed the results as “a victory for democracy”.

The billionaire businessman – worth $2bn according to Forbes – has led the RNI since 2016.

His party is considered close to the palace and has been part of all coalition governments for the past 23 años, except during a brief period between 2012 y 2013.

After his win, Akhannouch pledged to improve conditions for citizens of Morocco, where entrenched social inequalities have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“The main commitment of the party is to work seriously as long as we enjoy the confidence of citizens, to improve their daily lives, to achieve their aspirations and regain confidence in their representatives," él dijo.

The economy shrank by 7.1 % en 2020 and the poverty rate shot up to 11.7 % during the lockdown, the Moroccan statistics institute said in April.

A recent overhaul of the elections laws meant it was the first time Morocco’s 18 million voters cast ballots in both parliamentary and local elections on the same day, an effort to boost turnout.

Just over half of eligible voters participated, according to the interior minister, más alto que el 43% en el 2016 legislative polls.

Akhannouch’s party also came first in the local elections, victorioso 9,995 de El 31,503 seats, and the regional poll with 196 de El 678 positions.

Akhannouch said he was ready to begin negotiations to form his coalition government.

“The most important thing is to have a coherent and united majority,” he said in a televised address Friday evening.

Under Morocco’s constitutional monarchy, the new administration must be submitted for approval by the king, who reserves veto rights.

Akhannouch will probably draw from the main opposition, PAM – founded by an influential royal adviser – which came second in the parliamentary elections with 86 seats, as well as the conservative Istiqlal party, which took 81 seats.

Cabinet horsetrading is not expected to include the PJD however, which announced that it would switch to its “natural” position as the opposition.

Swept to power in the wake of the 2011 uprisings around the Middle East and north África, the PJD had hoped to secure a third term leading a ruling coalition.

Despite the change of guard, policy shifts are unlikely since major decisions in Morocco still come from King Mohammed VI.

The head of the Arab world’s longest-serving dynasty has already announced a charter for a “new model of development” with a “new generation of reforms and projects” in the coming years, with political parties expected to sign up.

The plan’s major aims include reducing Morocco’s wealth gap and doubling per-capita economic output by 2035.

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