Islamists kept out of power

16 November 2002

Recently-appointed Prime Minister Driss Jettou unveiled on 7 November the new coalition cabinet charged with instigating rapid economic and social change in the North African kingdom.

The 31-strong cabinet maintains the traditional balance between the two major parties of previous coalition governments, the socialist USFP party of former prime minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi and the conservative Istiqlal. However, there are no posts for members of the Justice & Development Party (PJD), despite the fact that the party, the only Islamic group to stand in the general elections, won 42 seats to become the third largest block in parliament.

USFP and Istiqlal each have eight ministers in the cabinet. The remaining posts are allocated to members of four other political parties. Three key ministers from the last government, Mohamed Benaissa, Fatallah Oualalou and Mohamed el-Yazghi, retained their posts at the Foreign Affairs, Finance and Territory Development Ministries respectively. The new government also includes three women selected from 30 female parliamentarians. The September elections were the first to introduce a quota system, allocating 30 of the 325 seats to women (MEED 4:10:02).

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