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Morocco's King appoints former foreign minister as PM

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Morocco's King appoints former foreign minister as PM
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Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has named Saad Eddin El Othmani from the Islamist PJD party as the country’s new prime minister.

A royal statement said El Othmani had been asked to form a new government.

El Othmani was foreign minister between 2012-2013 and had most recently served as the head of the PJD’s parliamentary group.

The appointment follows the king’s announcement on Wednesday that he would replace Abdelilah Benkirane as Morocco’s premier.

The move aims to break a five-month post election deadlock which has left the North African state without a government.

A psychiatrist by training and highly active on social media, El Othmani is regarded as a close ally of Benkirane’s. It is not clear what difference his appointment makes to the PJD’s negotiating position on forming a government.

The PJD, which increased its share of the vote in elections last October, has led the government since 2011, when King Mohammed ceded some powers to ease ‘‘Arab Spring’‘ protests.