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Possible Moroccan government reshuffle by September

The daily Jeune Afrique reports changes in Akhannouch's government
gobierno de marruecos de aziz akhannouch

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A reshuffle of the progressive Aziz Akhannouch's government is reportedly underway, according to sources in the daily specialised in Africa, Jeune Afrique. It would be at the request of King Mohamed VI and due to the new challenges that world geopolitics has created after the war in Ukraine.

According to the information published by the Paris-based media, a meeting took place in France on 5 August between the head of the Moroccan government and royal adviser Fouad Ali Himma, former leader and founder of the PAM party (Authenticity and Modernity Party). Rumours of changes in government membership are already rife.

In April 2022, just six months after the formation of the Akhannouch government, the daily Assabah revealed that a plan to reshuffle the executive was given the green light, and there was talk of between six and eight changes in ministerial portfolios. The objectives cited were to "strengthen the harmony and cohesion of the government team in order to act and respond to the expectations of the population, especially on issues related to rising prices and the negative impact of the drought".

The daily Assabah reports some difficulties in communication between various portfolios, including some with projects that contradict the head of government's wishes.

According to Jeune Afrique, the only names that have emerged so far are those of Ouahbi and Miriaoui, the PAM ministers of Justice and Higher Education.

Ouahbi is also the party's current secretary general. There has been no speculation as to whether the departure of the PAM members from the government puts an end to the coalition with the Independents and Istiqlal.

The PAM obtained the second best result in the October 2021 elections, just behind the RNI. It has 87 MPs out of 395 in the Moroccan lower house. In case the coalition breaks up, and if it does not support the government in the House of Representatives, Akhannouch should take support in the Constitutional Union parliamentary group.

More ministries and state ministries are likely to be subject to such changes, especially those controlling critical sectors affected by the war crisis in Ukraine. The Ministry of Energy Transition is one such portfolio, which is also in the hands of a member of the PAM, Leila Benali.