A woman elected for the first time as mayor of Casablanca

Nabila Rmili was until now delegate of the Ministry of Health in Casablanca
Nabila Rmili

 -   Nabila Rmili

The city of Casablanca, considered the economic capital of Morocco, will be governed for the next five years, for the first time in its history, by a woman after the election on Monday of Nabila Rmili as mayor of the city.

Rmili, 47, until now a delegate of the Ministry of Health in Casablanca, belongs to the liberal National Rally of Independents (RNI), the big winner in the general and municipal elections of September 8 in Morocco, whose president, Aziz Akhannouch, was entrusted by King Mohammed VI to form a government.

A total of 105 city councillors voted in favour of Rmili, while another 18 supported his rival, Abdelsamad Hiker of the Islamist Justice and Development party (PJD), which chairs the outgoing government, and seven abstentions.

The new municipal government in Casablanca, home to more than three million people, will be made up of the RNI, Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), Istiqlal (PI) and the Constitutional Union (UC) parties.

Aziz Akhannouch
Aziz Akhannouch

Rmili, a doctor by training, is the second woman to be elected mayor of a major city in Morocco, after Fatima Zahra Mansouri, who pioneered the mayoralty of Marrakech in the legislature from 2009 to 2015 and has now been re-elected mayor of this tourist resort.

Morocco could have women mayors in its three main cities if Asmaa Rhlalou is finally elected mayor of Rabat, the country's capital.

Rhlalou's vote was due to take place on Monday but, according to municipal sources, it has finally been postponed sine die as the different parties have not reached an agreement on her appointment.