After an unprecedented five months of post-election gridlock without a government, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI dismissed prime minister-designate Abdelilah Benkirane on Wednesday. Benkirane’s Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD) won a plurality of seats in the legislative elections in October 2016 and appeared well on its way toward a second consecutive term at the helm of the Moroccan government.
But negotiations did not go as planned. Benkirane’s dismissal came just a few days after he refused to acquiesce to a major alliance party’s demands to widen coalition talks. The shake-up was widely seen as an attempt by the monarchy and its deep state network of elite allies — known as makhzen — to regain political power. While the decision may have been unexpected, the regime’s logic is familiar. As Benkirane and his successor know well, they must play by the monarch’s rules.
As it has done in the past, the regime is seeking to reconfigure the Moroccan political scene. The PJD, especially under Benkirane, may have become too popular and adversarial for the regime’s liking. The party has also increasingly re-engaged Moroccans politically, building a formidable base in a country where depoliticization is a state policy.
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Via:: Monkey Cage