Morocco PM struggling to form govt a month after election
RABAT - A month since winning Morocco's parliamentary elections, Islamist Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane is still haggling over his future governing coalition.
The October 7 poll dealt a resounding victory to Benkirane's Justice and Development Party (PJD) -- but not large enough to form the majority needed to form a government alone.
At the head of a coalition government for five years, Benkirane was reappointed and charged with forming a new government after winning 125 out of 395 seats in the lower house.
He has since been haggling with potential coalition partners -- but excluding his party's arch-rival, the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), which came second in the election with 102 seats.
Analysts say the election, in which all other parties made net losses, established a bipartisan system.
However, the PJD still needs to work with other parties to form a working majority.
After a month of talks, Benkirane has won the support of third-placed Istiqlal (45 seats), which in 2013 withdrew from Benkirane's first government.
The formerly communist Party of Progress and Socialism has also said it would join the coalition.
But the National Rally of Independents (RNI) has proved harder to win over, imposing preconditions, according to press reports.
Late Sunday, King Mohammed VI urged the parties to come to an agreement.
"The formation of the next government should not be a matter of arithmetic... or sharing electoral booty," he said.
In an annual speech, delivered this year from Dakar where he was seeking support for Morocco's bid to rejoin the African Union, he said government should have a clear agenda and a "smooth and efficient structure".
"I will see to it that the formation of the next government is done in accordance with these criteria and following a rigorous methodology, and I will not tolerate any attempt to depart from that," he said.