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Vol 60 No 2

Published 25th January 2019


Morocco

Anger and innovation

The king’s new development strategy will seek to answer chronic problems that threaten the monarchy’s long-term stability

There will be more glitzy openings of high-profile infrastructure like Africa's first high-speed train, coupled with headline-grabbing sackings of officials following 'colères royales' (royal angers) over lack of delivery, and further intense diplomacy to consolidate Morocco's penetration of African markets and a new round of manoeuvring over the disputed Western Sahara. These trends will continue the pattern established since late 2016, when King Mohammed VI ('M6') returned from a lengthy stay abroad to take firmer control of domestic politics five years after the Arab Spring. That led to the sacking of charismatic Parti de la Justice et du Développement (PJD) Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, who was replaced with a more pliant leader from the Islamist party, Saad Eddine el Othmani.

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