New Moroccan Government

Following the legislative elections of September 2007 in Morocco (which, while generally transparent, had low levels of voter turnout) the new government has been announced. The new Prime Minister is Abbas El Fassi, of the Istiqlal Party.

Mr. Abbas El Fassi is perhaps best remembered by the young people of Morocco as the man who, in his capacity as Minister of Employment in 2002 was responsible for the Al Najat fiasco. At least one person has committed suicide in the aftermath of that scandal. Abbas El Fassi is also the man who, earlier this year, was quoted in Tel Quel magazine as saying that the efforts to promote Darija Arabic in Morocco are part of a conspiracy by the francophone elite to hurt the unity of the Arab peoples. (Rien que ça? one is tempted to say.)

Several ministers have no party affiliation (Chakib Benmoussa, Taieb Fassi Fihri, Ahmed Toufiq, et al.), and are technocrats chosen for their experience in the private sector, and in that sense the country will continue to be managed as it has in previous iterations.

This new government is quite remarkable, however, for its record number of women ministers: Ms. Amina Benkhadra (Energy & Mines); Ms. Yasmina Baddou (Health); Ms. Nawal El Moutawakil (Sports); Ms. Nouzha Skalli (Family); Ms. Touria Jabrane (Culture); Ms. Latifa Labida (liaison to National Education); and Ms. Latifa Akherbach (liaison to Foreign Affairs).