Monday, September 25

S&P:Ratings on Morocco unaffected by election result

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Nov 30- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that the ratings on Morocco (BBB-/Stable/A-3) are not immediately affected by the outcome of the recent parliamentary elections.

Parliamentary elections in Morocco were originally scheduled for 2012 but were anticipated by one year following the adoption of a new constitution by referendum in July this year.

Election results indicate that the Islamist party, Justice and Development (PJD) garnered 107 seats out of a total of 395 (from 47 seats in the smaller previous chamber of 325). The Istiqlal (independence) Party of the current prime minister, which has headed a five-party coalition since 2007, won 60, and his Koutla coalition allies 57. The Gathering of Independents (RNI) of the current finance minister won 52 seats and eight allied parties got another 108.

Voter participation was 45.5% of the 13.5 million registered to vote, higher than in 2007 when participation reached only 37%. We note, however, that nearly 22 million Moroccans are eligible to vote.

In line with the provisions of the new constitution, the King named Abdelilah Benkirane, the leader of the PJD, as head of government on Nov. 29. We understand that talks to form a coalition are underway.

The composition of the new government is not, in itself, a rating factor for Standard & Poor’s. Our focus is on whether the new government will support macroeconomic stability and fiscal consolidation by taking medium-term policy measures and pursuing structural reforms. We also note that this parliament will have to introduce organic laws to implement the changes predicated by the new constitution.


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