King Mohamed VI’s 20 September meeting with Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani is a clear indication that the Palace is getting impatient with the lack of progress in forming a new government. This impatience is shared with the other political parties who accuse Othmani of dragging his feet.
Despite this nudge, however, Othmani’s task is not going to get any easier. The other political parties that make up the Parti de la justice et du développement (PJD) led government — the Union socialiste des forces populaires (USFP); Parti du progrès et du socialisme (PPS); and the Rassemblement national des indépendants (RNI) — all agreed with the principle of cutting the number of ministries but allegedly refused to pay the price by having any of their own ministries abolished. They will try to hold onto as many ministries as they can, and will insist that any newcomer technocrats are drawn from within their party ranks. This process will therefore continue and is unlikely to be settled before parliament returns in October.
However, it is unlikely to get to the point of total collapse. Given the monarchy’s desire to avoid further instability — as well as the parties’ lack of preparedness for an early election — it is probable that Othmani will pull it off and reach an agreement on a new reformulated government at some point down the line. When it finally comes, this new government will probably be composed of around 26 portfolios with many of the minister delegate and minister of state positions having been abolished.