Abbas El Fassi, a longtime government minister and the leader of a secular political party in Morocco, has been named prime minister in the North African kingdom, officials said.
El Fassi's party, conservative-leaning Istiqlal, won the greatest number of seats in parliamentary elections this month, coming out ahead of an Islamic party that had been widely expected to win. King Mohammed VI received El Fassi at the royal palace and named him prime minister, the official MAP news agency said, quoting a palace statement.
The new prime minister replaces Driss Jettou, a longtime businessman who had served since 2002. El Fassi, 67, was minister of state in the previous administration.
Istiqlal won 52 of 325 seats in the Sept. 7 vote and became the largest party in parliament. The party was a member of the ruling coalition before the vote.
An Islamic party, the Justice and Development Party, had gained strength in recent years in the Muslim nation, worrying its secular rivals ahead of the election. It took only 46 seats.
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2007, 13:01