Abdelilah Benkirane
عبد الإله بنكيران
Abdelilah Benkirane 2014-08-05.jpg
Abdelilah Benkirane in 2014
15th Prime Minister of Morocco
In office
29 November 2011 – 17 March 2017
MonarchMohammed VI
Preceded byAbbas El Fassi
Succeeded bySaadeddine Othmani
Leader of the Opposition
In office
20 July 2008 – 29 November 2011
Prime MinisterAbbas El Fassi
Preceded bySaadeddine Othmani
Succeeded bySalaheddine Mezouar
Leader of the Justice and Development Party
Assumed office
30 October 2021
Preceded bySaadeddine Othmani
In office
20 July 2008 – 10 December 2017
Preceded bySaadeddine Othmani
Succeeded bySaadeddine Othmani
Member of Parliament
for Salé-Médina [fr]
In office
14 November 1997 – 12 April 2017
Succeeded byAziz Benbrahim
Personal details
Born (1954-04-02) 2 April 1954 (age 68)
Rabat, Morocco
Political partyJustice and Development Party
Spouse(s)Nabila Benkirane
Alma materMohammed V University
  • Politician
  • professor

Abdelilah Benkirane (Arabic: عبد الإله بنكيران, born 2 April 1954)[1] is a Moroccan politician who was Prime Minister of Morocco from November 2011 to March 2017.[2][3] After having won a plurality of seats in the 2011 parliamentary election, his party, the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party formed a coalition with three parties that had been part of previous governments.[4][5][6]

Political career

During the 1970s, Benkirane was a leftist and Islamist political activist.[7] He has represented Salé in the Moroccan parliament since 14 November 1997.[8] He was elected leader of the Justice and Development Party in July 2008, taking over from Saadeddine Othmani.[9]

Benkirane's politics are democratic and Islamist. In a 2011 interview he said: "If I get into government, it won't be so I can tell young women how many centimeters of skirt they should wear to cover their legs. That's none of my business. It is not possible, in any case, for anyone to threaten the cause of civil liberties in Morocco".[10] However, he has in the past described secularism as "a dangerous concept for Morocco", and in 2010 he campaigned, unsuccessfully, to ban a performance in Rabat by Elton John because it "promoted homosexuality".[11]

Prime Minister of Morocco

Benkirane became Prime Minister on 29 November 2011. His government targeted average economic growth of 5.5 percent a year during its four-year mandate, and aimed to reduce the jobless rate to 8 percent by the end of 2016 from 9.1 percent at the start of 2012.[12] Benkirane's government also actively pursued Morocco's ties with the European Union, its chief trade partner, as well as becoming increasingly engaged with the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council.

On 1 December 2016, Benkirane criticized the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad for its actions during the Syrian Civil War: "What the Syrian regime backed by Russia is doing to the Syrian people surpasses all humanitarian limits".[13]

The Justice and Development Party retained the majority of seats in the 2016 Moroccan general election. However, Benkirane was unable to form a functioning government due to ongoing political negotiations. On 15 March 2017, after five months of post-election deadlock, King Mohammed VI ousted Benkirane as Prime Minister and said he would choose another leader from the Justice and Development Party.[14][15][16][17][18] On 17 March 2017 the king chose Saadeddine Othmani to replace Benkirane as Prime Minister.[19][20]


On 12 April 2017,[21] Abdelilah Benkirane resigned from the Moroccan Parliament claiming incompatibility. However, many in the media accused him of buying time in order to avoid showing his positions towards the newly appointed head of government, Saadeddine Othmani.

On 30 October 2021, Benkirane was elected as PJD secretary-general, following the resignation of Saadeddine Othmani in the aftermath of his party's loss in the 2021 Moroccan general election.[22]

Personal life

Born in Rabat, Benkirane's family are originally from Fes. His father was interested in Sufism and Islamic fundamentalism, while his mother attended meetings of the women's branch of Istiqlal.[23]

Benkirane enjoys chess and music, although he says he is "not in favour of indecent music". His role model is his father, who died at the age of 90, when Benkirane was 16. He is married to a party activist and has six children. His youngest daughter is tetraplegic.[24]

See also


  1. ^ "بنكيران.. "إسلامي" أعفي من تشكيل حكومته الثانية".
  2. ^ "Le Parti justice et développement aux portes du pouvoir - France 24". France 24 (in French). 26 November 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Morocco's new govt targets 5.5 pct GDP growth | Reuters". Reuters.com. 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Législatives 2011: Trois scénarios pour une victoire". L'économiste. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Marocco: leader partito islamico, garantiremo le liberta' individuali". Adnkronos. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Fin des travaux sur la culture de la réforme au Maroc". Le Matin. Retrieved 25 November 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Polygamy is not an option, says Morocco Islamist premier's wife". Al Arabiya News. 1 December 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  8. ^ "النواب حسب الترتيب الأبجدي – الولاية التشريعية 2007–2012". Moroccan Parliament website-. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Abdelilah Benkirane élu à la tête du PJD". JDM Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  10. ^ Bellem, Rahim (25 November 2011). "Benkiran : "Le Maroc a besoin d'une autre âme, islamiste"". Le Parisien. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Abdelilah Benkirane, un islamiste modéré au pouvoir". Le Point. 29 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Morocco's new govt targets 5.5 pct GDP growth | Reuters". Reuters.com. 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Morocco PM slams the Syrian regime's crimes in Aleppo".
  14. ^ "Morocco's king replaces PM Benkirane amid post-election deadlock". Reuters. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Le roi du Maroc annonce le remplacement du premier ministre Benkirane". Le Monde.fr (in French). 15 March 2017. ISSN 1950-6244. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  16. ^ "El rey de Marruecos sustituye al jefe de Gobierno". EL PAÍS (in Spanish). 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Moroccan king, in rare move, ousts designated prime minister". AP News. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Maroc: le roi va remplacer le Premier ministre Benkirane" (in French). Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  19. ^ "King of Morocco names Saad Eddine El Othmani as new prime minister - France 24". France 24. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Morocco's king names PJD's Othmani as prime minister". Reuters. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Pour quelle raison Benkirane démissionne-t-il du parlement ?". quid.ma (in French). Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Benkirane Elected Morocco's PJD Party Secretary General". Assahifa. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  23. ^ "Abdelilah Benkirane, l'art de plaire et de convaincre". Maroc Hebdo. 2011. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  24. ^ "'I do not force my daughters to wear the veil,' says head of Morocco's Islamist JDP head". Al Arabiya News. 30 November 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
Party political offices Preceded bySaadeddine Othmani Secretary General of the Justice and Development Party 2004–2008 Succeeded byAhmed Obeidi Leader of the Justice and Development Party 2008–present Incumbent Political offices Preceded bySaadeddine Othmani Leader of the Opposition 2008–2011 Succeeded bySalaheddine Mezouar Preceded byAbbas El Fassi Prime Minister of Morocco 2011–2017 Succeeded bySaadeddine Othmani