As expected, the number of portfolios has been reduced from 39 to 24, resulting in the reduction of portfolios held by the five political parties forming the coalition government.
Saad Eddine El Othmani’s Party for Justice and Development thus holds 7 positions (12 in the previous cabinet), the National rally of independents (RNI) of Aziz Akhennouch 4 (instead of 7 previously), the Popular Movement (MP) of Mohand laensar 2 (instead of 5) while each of the USFP and the Constitutional Union (UC) got 1 portfolio each, instead of 3 and 2 respectively. The remaining 8 ministerial departments are entrusted to people without any political obedience.
The cabinet includes six new comers and four women, including three ministers (Spatial Planning, Tourism, Solidarity / Social Development / Family) and a Junior Minister for Moroccan expatriates.
Among the new comers there is Khalid Ait Taleb from the PJD who was entrused the Health portfolio, in replacement of Anas Doukkali, whose party, the PPS, quitted the governmental coalition last week.
Member of the Political Bureau of the Constitutional Union Hassan Abyaba is named Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, and spokesperson for the Government. He replaces Mohamed Laâraj (MP), Talbi Alami (RNI) and Mustapha khalfi (PJD).
President of the youth association of the PJD, attorney Mohamed Amkraz is now Minister of Employment and Social Inclusion. He replaces Mohamed Yatim, another PJD member.
Nadia Fettah Alaoui, from the RNI, is the new Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, Air Transport and Social Economy. She replaces Mohamed Sajid (Constitutional Union) and Lamia Boutaleb (RNI).
Nezha Bouchareb (MP) is the new Minister of National Territorial Development, Urban Planning, Housing and City Policy. She replaces Abdelahad Fassi-Fihri (PPS).
Driss Ouaouicha (non-affiliated) is the new Junior Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Those who were maintained in the Othmani II cabinet include
Mustapha Ramid (PJD) as Minister of State for Human Rights who also inherits the Ministry of Relations with Parliament and Civil Society; Aziz Akhannouch (RNI) as Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests; Moulay Hafid Elalamy (RNI) as Minister of Industry, Trade, Green and Digital Economy; and Saïd Amzazi (MP) as Minister of National Education.
Mohamed Benchaaboun (RNI) remains at the head of the Department of Economy and Finance plus the department of the reform of the administration. Similarly, Aziz Rebbah and Abdelkader Amara, both from the PJD, keep respectively the Energy and Mines portfolio and that of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water.
The Ministers with no political affiliation who remain part of the new cabinet include Ahmed Taoufiq (Habous and Islamic Affairs); Abdelouafi Laftit (the Interior); Noureddine Boutayeb (Minister Delegate for the Interior); Nasser Bourita (Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation & Moroccan expatriates); Mohcine Jazouli (Junior Minister for African Cooperation); Abdellatif Loudyi ( in charge of the administration of National Defense); and Mohamed El Hajoui (Secretary General of the government).
Some members of the previous cabinet were tasked with new ministerial departments. This is the case of Mohamed Benabdelkader (USFP) who quits the Ministry of Reform Administration and Civil Service to become Minister of Justice.
Nezha El Ouafi (PJD) leaves the secretariat of state in charge of Sustainable Development to become Junior Minister of Moroccan expatriates, while Jamila Moussali (PJD) becomes Minister of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality and Family. She replaces Bassima Hakkaoui of the same party.
The reshuffle took place in implementation of the royal guidelines as set out in the State of the Nation Address last July 2, when King Mohammed VI had called on the Head of Government to revitalize Morocco’s political elite and renew public services executives. The King made it clear that candidates to high-level positions should be “chosen on merit and competence.”
The monarch who had criticized some senior officials of the Moroccan administration, including cabinet members, governors, and local elected representatives for their failure to follow up the implementation of several social and economic development projects, urged El Othmani to consider people with high aptitudes in order to contribute to the country’s social development.