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Moroccan Islamist party chief ready for coalition government

Morocco Islamist's the Justice and Development Party calls on the political powers to join in a national collation government

AFP , Saturday 26 Nov 2011
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The head of Morocco's moderate Islamists said Saturday he wanted a coalition government to promote democracy and good governance after his party claimed victory in parliamentary polls.

"The nub of our programme and of those who will govern with us will have a double axis, democracy and good governance," Abdellah Benkirane told the France 24 television channel.

"Today what I can promise Moroccans is that I am going to try, I and the team which will work with me, to be more serious and more rational," the leader of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) said.

A month after Islamists won Tunisia's post-revolution election and days before their predicted surge in Egyptian polls, their Moroccan counterparts claimed to have achieved a similar breakthrough without bloodshed.

With official results expected Sunday, PJD parliamentary bloc leader Lahcen Daoudi predicted the party would have more than 100 of the 395 seats in the assembly.

Under the new constitution, if the predicted results are confirmed, King Mohammed VI will have to name a prime minister from the PJD.

Benkirane acknowledged that his party would have to tailor its programme to appease its coalition partners and the international community on whose investment and tourism the country relies heavily.

"As far as alliances are concerned, we are open to everyone, I have always said that," he said.

"From now on, Moroccans will feel that the state is at their service and not the other way about," Benkirane added. "That is very important for us."

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