Unless its next 100 days in office result in some major changes, Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch’s new government will continue to face criticism for its underwhelming and lacklustre performance. Moroccans expected it to put its election campaign promises into practice so it needs to act quickly and communicate much better with the electorate if it is to retain the people’s trust and support over the longer term.
It will also need to do something to tackle corruption if it is to convince Moroccans that it is serious about change. This will not be easy because of the vested interests at stake but ignoring the problem, or sweeping it under the carpet, will only lead to even greater resentment and agitation.
A series of new appointments are likely to be announced just as soon as King Mohamed VI sets a date for the next meeting of the Council of Ministers. This includes government appointees — deputy ministers and ministers of state — as well as the heads of public sector utilities and maybe the central Bank Al-Maghrib. The Istiqlal party is expected to take at least two of the government portfolios which is something that will create a better balance between the three parties that make up the ruling coalition.
Morocco’s relations with Germany will continue to improve with both sides clearly happy to put the past disputes behind them. Although the issue of the Western Sahara will remain very contentious, Rabat can currently live with Berlin’s reliance on ambiguity to get around the problem.
Meanwhile relations with Spain still have further to go before they can get back on an even footing and it will take some time for trust to be rebuilt. Morocco is determined to maintain its tough stance on the Western Sahara and this will continue to colour bilateral relations.
For its own domestic reasons it is unlikely Algeria will end its ongoing propaganda campaign to blame Morocco for its ongoing political crisis and diplomatic failings. It has been rocked by a huge domestic crisis following the release on social media of around 20 videos providing details of the criminality of the Algerian army’s most senior generals. The regime claimed that the videos were not only completely false but were compiled by the Makhzen — Morocco’s deep security state and establishment — and that Rashad’s Mohamed Larbi Zitout, who helped publicise the videos, is a foreign agent working for Morocco. Menas Associates has proof that both allegations are false.This excerpt is taken from Morocco Focus, our monthly intelligence report on Morocco. Click here to receive a free sample copy.