Morocco's Secretary General of the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) and former prime minister, Abdelilah Benkirane, holds a press conference on March 16, 2017, in Rabat. AFP / FADEL SENNA
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The king of Morocco is to appoint a new prime minister, the palace announced, after an unprecedented five months of talks on forming a coalition government ended in failure.King Mohammed VI tasked Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane with forming a new government after the Islamist PJD won the most seats in elections in October 2016 .The party had come to power after the king relinquished some of his near-absolute control following Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2011, with Benkirane heading a previous coalition government for five years.The PJD was the first Islamist party to win an election in Morocco and the first to lead a government after the king -- whose family claims descent from the Prophet Mohammed and has ruled Morocco since the early 1600s -- gave up some of his power when thousands took to the streets in peaceful demonstrations inspired by the wave of uprisings across the Arab world.
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