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Moroccan king names new prime minister to break deadlock

Morocco's king has named a new prime minister, former top diplomat Saadeddine Othmani, after removing his predecessor following five months of government deadlock.

The royal palace said in a statement that Mr Othmani, a former foreign minister, has been given the responsibility of forming a new government.

Mr Othmani's Islamist party, the Party of Justice and Development, won an election in October but has failed to form a coalition government.

King Mohammed VI holds ultimate power in Morocco but rarely intervenes in politics, and his decision on Wednesday to oust previous prime minister Abdelilah Benkirane came as a national surprise.

The lack of a government has threatened the Moroccan economy and its reputation for political stability in a volatile region.

AP

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