Morocco’s Benkirane Excludes USFP from Participation in Government

Morocco’s appointed Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, has publicly ruled out the Social Union of Popular Forces Party (USFP) from parties that will form the coalition government over the next five years.

During the National Council of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), held Saturday in Bouznika (39.5 km from Rabat), Benkirane said that the USFP will not be in the government. This declaration comes despite USFP’s Lahbib El Malki being elected to lead the House of Representatives in January.


In response to what he labeled “the requirements” that some political parties imposed on him regarding the government, Benkirane said that “the PJD is ready to give up the presidency of the government if it is necessary.”Benkirane went on to add that his negotiations to form the government will only involve Aziz Akhannouch, Secretary General of the National Rally of Independents Party (RNI) and Mohand Laenser, Secretary-General of the Popular Movement (MP).

“If Akhannouch and Laenser answered me– it would be a pleasure, if they do not, I know what I am going to do,” Benkirane added.

Regarding the recent USF rumors, claiming that they are one of the parties that will lead the government, Benkirane commented saying that “the USFP won only 20” of the House of Representatives’ 395 seats. The USFP is not eligible,” Benkirane added.

Four Months of Delay

After his appointment as Head of Government on October 10, Benkirane’s negotiations with party leaders to form a coalition government have come to a standstill. Benkirane issued a communiqué entitled “Talks are over,” saying that his negotiations with both  Akhannouch, and Laenser, had ended.

Last Sunday, as soon as the meeting of the General Secretariat of the PJD ended, Benkirane said that “the negotiations for forming a coalition government have been paused.”

It was reported earlier this week that Benkirane will start a new and final round of deliberation to form a coalition government following the end of King Mohammed VI’s tour of the African continent.

If Benkirane does not manage to form a coalition government, he will have to submit a report to King Mohammed VI outlining the obstacles he faced in accomplishing his mission after four months of attempts.