Africa

Morocco looks for prime minister after king's surprise move

  • FILE - In this Oct.6, 2016 file photo, Abdelilah Benkirane, Moroccan Prime Minister and leader of the Islamist Justice and Development Party, known as the PJD, speaks during a campaign rally in Sale near Rabat, Morocco. In a highly unusual move, Morocco's king ousted Benkirane in an effort to settle a five-month deadlock over forming a new government. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar, File)

    FILE - In this Oct.6, 2016 file photo, Abdelilah Benkirane, Moroccan Prime Minister and leader of the Islamist Justice and Development Party, known as the PJD, speaks during a campaign rally in Sale near Rabat, Morocco. In a highly unusual move, Morocco's king ousted Benkirane in an effort to settle a five-month deadlock over forming a new government. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • People look at newspapers and books at a stall near the Medina of Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, March 16, 2017. In a highly unusual move, Morocco's king has ousted the designated prime minister in an effort to settle a five-month deadlock over forming a new government. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

    People look at newspapers and books at a stall near the Medina of Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, March 16, 2017. In a highly unusual move, Morocco's king has ousted the designated prime minister in an effort to settle a five-month deadlock over forming a new government. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)  (The Associated Press)

Negotiations are under way to find a new prime minister for Morocco following the king's decision to oust the previous premier in a surprise intervention into the country's politics.

The general secretariat of the Islamist Party of Justice and Development party met Thursday to decide its next moves after King Mohammed VI ordered Prime Minister-designate Abdelilah Benkirane to leave office. The king was frustrated with Benkirane's five months of failed efforts to form a coalition government.

The PJD is expected to propose a new prime minister Saturday. Names that have surfaced include Saadeddine El Othmani, a former foreign minister, outgoing Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid and outgoing Transport Minister Abdelaziz Rebbah.

The deadlock was weighing on Morocco's economy and reputation for political stability after years of upheaval in the Arab world.