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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 09:06 GMT
Morocco unveils new coalition
Driss Jettou leaves Rabat's Royal Palace after meeting King Mohammed on Thursday
PM Driss Jettou: a mandate for rapid change
King Mohammed of Morocco has announced the line-up of the new coalition government, but there are no posts for the Islamic party that trebled its vote in September elections.

The 31-strong cabinet under Prime Minister Driss Jettou maintains a similar balance to previous governments, with the Socialist Union of Forces for Progress sharing power with the nationalist Istiqlal Party.

The Islamic party, Justice and Development, has no cabinet posts, despite winning 42 seats to become the third-largest party in parliament.

Three key ministers from the last government keep their posts.

Mohamed Benaissa remains Minister for Foreign Affairs; Fatallah Oualalou continues as Finance Minister and Mohamed El-Yazghi retains the post responsible for territorial development.

Narrow victory

The most significant change is the replacement of Justice Minister Omar Azziman with another Socialist, lawyer Mohamed Bouzoubaa.

King Mohammed VI
The king retains the power to appoint key ministers

In the election of 27 September, the Socialist Union narrowly won the largest number of seats - 50 compared to the 48 secured by Istiqlal.

Mr Jettou, 57, was named prime minister in October, replacing the Socialist Abderrahmane Youssoufi.

The prime minister, a successful businessman known for his negotiating skills, has been given a mandate for rapid economic and social change by the reform-minded king.

King Mohammed said he hoped Mr Jettou's team would show "economic efficiency based on democratic legitimacy" and told the new ministers to "answer the economic and social expectations of the citizens".

For the first time, a junior minister has been put in charge of teaching and fighting illiteracy in a country where nearly half the population of 30 million cannot read and write.

Urban unemployment tops 20% and one Moroccan in five lives on less than $1 a day.

See also:

30 Sep 02 | Africa
27 Sep 02 | Africa
25 Sep 02 | Media reports
14 Sep 02 | Africa
24 Oct 02 | Country profiles
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