Moroccon King appoints Aziz Akhannouch as Morocco's new PM; Who is Aziz Akhannouch?

Aziz Akhannouch’s National Rally of Independents had emerged as the biggest party in the Parliamentary elections held in Morocco on September 8, 2021.

Created On: Sep 13, 2021 12:14 IST
Aziz Akhannouch
Aziz Akhannouch

The King of Morocco Mohammed VI has appointed Aziz Akhannouch as the new Prime Minister of Morocco. He is the leader of the Liberal-National Rally of Independents (RNI). The news of the appointment of the new Prime Minister of Morocco was shared by the state-run broadcaster.

The official statement from the royal palace of Morocco said that the King has tasked Akhannouch with forming a new government that now has a mandate.

Aziz Akhannouch’s National Rally of Independents had emerged as the biggest party in the Parliamentary elections held on September 8, 2021. The elections were held in Morocco with a turnout of about 50%.

Who is Aziz Akhannouch?

He is one of the wealthiest people in Morocco with an estimated fortune of around $2 billion. Since 2016, Akhannouch has been the leader of the National Rally of Independents (RNI) party which is also seen to have close ties to the royal household.

The new Prime Minister of Morocco is the CEO of the Akwa Group. It is a Moroccon conglomerate that operates mainly in the gas and the oil sector.

Akhannouch has also served as the Minister of Agriculture since 2007. After the declaration of the election results, Akhannouch announced that he will implement his majesty’s vision.

Calling the results the victory of democracy, the new PM has promised to create 1 million jobs to boost the economy and has also pledged to expand the health insurance and hike the salaries of the country’s educators.

Akhannouch’s RNI won largest number of seats:

In the parliamentary elections held in Morocco on September 8, Akhannouch’s RNI won the largest number of seats- 102 of 395, while the ruling moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) led by Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani received only 13 seats and suffered a crushing defeat in Parliament.

A day after the election, the PJD leadership decided to resign and called the results illogical. The party also said that multiple violations were held during the elections and at different stages of the preparation.

Background:

The task of Akhannouch’s National Rally of Independents (RNI) will be to build a coalition government with a majority of at least 198 seats. While the liberal Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) won 86 seats.

The latest results, however, were a blow to the long-ruling PJD which has been at the helm since 2011. The leader Saad Dine El Otmani had served as the PM since 2017.

Otmani and other senior party leaders resigned from their positions and said that the party will not go into opposition and will not seek to join the next governing coalition.

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