Moroccan king appoints new government, including 7 women

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco’s King Mohammed VI appointed a new government Thursday made up of a coalition of liberal and conservative parties and led by a billionaire businessman.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Aziz Akhanouch of the Rally of National Independents party is made up of 24 ministers, including seven women.

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

Akhanouch, one of Morocco’s richest men, was appointed as prime minister last month after his party placed first in legislative elections, netting 102 out of the 395 seats in the lower house of parliament. He replaced Saad Eddine El Othmani, whose Islamist Justice and Development Party suffered a stinging defeat in the Sept. 8 election.

The PJD, which had run the government since 2011, secured only 13 parliament seats. The PJD’s leadership resigned en masse after the elections and said the party would join the opposition ranks.

The new coalition includes the RNI, the Authenticity and Modernity party and the conservative Istiqlal.

Ultimate power in Morocco resides with the king.

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