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Vol 40 No 16

Published 6th August 1999


Our friend, the new king

Young King Mohammed VI faces a tide of economic and social problems bequeathed by his father Hassan II

The mass outpouring of grief after the death of King Hassan II, one of Africa's most ruthless and canniest rulers, is fast being overtaken by worries about the future, particularly the shaky economy. A week after his father's sudden death from a heart attack on 23 July, King Mohammed VI went to Fez to lead Friday prayers. This was a critical signal of political and religious continuity. Surrounded by the Makhzen (the Palace-run political establishment) Mohammed VI took over as Al Amir al Mouminin (Commander of the Faithful), Morocco's spiritual head. Mohammed had accepted the Ba'ya (oath of allegiance) from his subjects immediately after Hassan II's death.

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