Morocco king keeps checks on new Islamist govt

Morocco's ruling coalition formed a new government on Tuesday that gives top posts to an Islamist party but also keeps close allies of the king in powerful positions.

The Islamist Justice and Development Party, known as PJD, won the most seats in the Nov. 25 parliamentary elections as part of the wave of election victories by Islamist political parties across North Africa following a series of uprisings across the Arab world.

"This new government has a true will for reform and we will keep all the promises we made," said Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane outside the palace after the swearing in. "We will do everything to encourage foreign and domestic investment to create a climate of prosperity."

Benkirane's PJD party is not expected, however, to radically change the politics of this North African kingdom because it had to ally with three other parties close to the palace, and the king still retains veto powers over most decisions.

Morocco was rocked last year by pro-democracy protests calling for greater freedoms and an end to corruption. The king responded by amending the constitution to grant more powers to the prime minister and parliament and holding early elections....

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