Morocco's Prime Minister Reshuffles Cabinet
Morocco's Prime Minister Abderrahmane El Youssoufi reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday, cutting the number of portfolios from 43 to 33, reported Reuters, quoting a senior official.
"Prime Minister Youssoufi on Wednesday presented to his Majesty King Mohammed the new cabinet members with reduced portfolios," the official told Reuters.
The new cabinet was received by the Moroccan monarch in an official ceremony at the royal palace of Agadir in southern Morocco, the official added.
A minister who declined to be named told Reuters that the biggest change was at the finance ministry, which would now cover the economy, finance, tourism, foreign trade and privatization.
Youssoufi retained ministers in foreign affairs, interior affairs, justice, defense, Islamic affairs, and as the secretary-general of the government, said the agency.
Two young technocrats, Nasser Hajji and Abdelkrim Benatik, were named respectively as junior ministers in the post and telecommunications ministry, and in the ministry for social and economic affairs and small to medium-sized enterprises, the minister said.
Youssoufi also convinced the leader of the conservative nationalist Istiqlal party, Abbas El Fassi, to join the new government and take up the labor portfolio, social development and solidarity, official added.
Nezha Chekrouni, who is the only woman in the male-dominated cabinet, retained her post as junior minister in charge of women's issues and people with disabilities, Reuters said.
Hassan Sebbar and Rachid Filali, ministers of tourism and of privatization respectively, have left the government after their ministries were merged into that of finance, he added.
The government was to publish full details of changes later on Wednesday.
Appointed by late King Hassan in March 1998, Youssoufi's cabinet was composed of seven center-left parties but dominated by his Socialist Union of People's Forces (USFP).
Left-wing opposition parties came to power in 1998 for the first time after 37 years of right-wing rule.
Youssoufi, 76, is a prominent lawyer who spent nearly four decades in opposition before King Hassan persuaded him to set up a multi-party cabinet to bring energy and transparency to government, according to the agency -- Albawaba.com
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