Moroccan PM in rare criticism of king's entourage

By REUTERS
April 24, 2012 03:32

 
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RABAT - Morocco's prime minister has hit out at courtiers around King Mohammed in rare criticism that could signify the start of a confrontation between the Islamist-led government and powerful figures close to the palace.

Moroccan authorities, under pressure from the "Arab Spring" upheavals elsewhere in the region, held early elections last year which for the first time handed power to the opposition PJD party of moderate Islamists.

Since then, analysts have been predicting a stand-off between the government, which is committed to tackling corruption and poverty, and a moneyed elite with long-standing ties to the palace.

Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane spoke out on Sunday after his government's plan to reform state-run television, widely seen as a mouthpiece for the monarchy, was criticized by figures close to the palace.

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