afrol News, 9 October - Moroccan King Mohammed VI today surprisingly appointed Driss Jettou new Prime Minister. The independent technocrat is to replace the incumbent socialist Prime Minister, whose party won last month's general elections.
The King's appointment comes after the legislative elections held on 27 September. Mr Jettou, who is not member to any political party, thus will replace incumbent Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi, who is the leader of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP).
The USFP had been named the winner of the legislative poll, winning 50 of the 352 seats in Parliament's House of Representatives. Since 1998, Mr Youssoufi has led a coalition government of his USFP, the conservative Al-Istiqlal Party (which won 48 seats in the poll) and several smaller parties.
According to the government-close Moroccan news agency MAP, Mr Jettou has been serving as Interior Minister since September 2000. He is former Finance Minister, and also Trade, Industry and Handicraft Minister, and a former Chief-Executive officer of the Phosphates Office (Office Cherifien des Phosphates).
As Minister of Interior, Mr Jettou was especially in charge of organising the first general elections during the reign of King Mohammed VI, given the orders of "total transparency". These are considered the first free and fair elections in the history of Morocco and have been hailed by the King and international observers.
The future composition of the Moroccan government is not yet known. It however seems clear that the Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister, Mohamed Benaissa, will remain on his post. The independent technocrat has won the confidence of King Mohammed VI. Benaissa was appointed Foreign Minister in April 1999.
Mr Jettou, as all Moroccan Prime Ministers before him, is appointed by the King. His cabinet will however need the approval of the Parliament. He therefore will need to search for political parties willing to participate in a coalition government under his leadership. It is unclear whether the two biggest parties, USFP and Al-Istiqlal will join his cabinet. The third force in the new Parliament will be the Islamist party (48 seats).
The new Moroccan Prime Minister is 67 years old, married and has four children, according to MAP. He has a science bachelor title from the Casablanca University (1964) and business management degree from the London Cordwainers college (1968).
Based on Moroccan govt, press reports and afrol archives