Billionaire Aziz Akhannouch is the prime minister of the 24-member cabinet, seven of them women, who received the blessing of King Mohammed VI hours ago in a ceremony in the city of Fez (north).
The new cabinet is bi-color as it includes members from Akhannouch’s National Assembly of Independents (RNI) and from liberal Authenticity and Modernity parties, second in recent elections that turned catastrophic for Islamist Justice and Development.
The only survivor of previous ministerial council is Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, an independent, same status as that of new Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit.
Bourita’s permanence is explained by the need to monitor foreign policy, in particular diplomatic relations broken by Algeria at the end of last August after accusing the Moroccan kingdom of instigating and supporting perpetrators of fires that devastated thousands of hectares of forest in Kabylia.
Disagreements between Algeria and Morocco also include the former’s support for independentists of Polisario front against the latter’s occupation of large parts of Western Sahara.
Rabat’s support for Israel’s return to the African Union as an observer country and the resumption of bilateral diplomatic relations between Tel Aviv and the Maghreb country are other disputes widening the gap between the two capitals.