RABAT, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Morocco's ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) vowed late on Saturday support to the newly-appointed Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani, accepting the replacement of their leader Abdelilah Benkirane.
Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Friday appointed Othmani, number two in the PJD leadership, as the new prime minister after Benkirane failed to form a government in five months.
In a statement following the meeting of PJD national assembly, the party urged Othmani to form a government in the shortest terms possible, stressing the need to cement the reforms launched by the PJD-led government in the past five years.
The parliament of the party said the new government should be strong, harmonious and efficient, adding that it should also respect the outcome of the October parliamentary elections, which was significantly led by the Islamist party.
At the opening of the national assembly, Othmani said forming a new government is a "difficult task" during "the critical period" Morocco is going through.
Othmani said that he was "surprised" by the appointment, stressing that forming a new government necessitates "a long term vision."
He added that after listening to his party's parliament views, he will start talks with other parties.
Othmani, 61 years old, was Morocco's foreign minister between 2012 and 2013.
At the meeting of PJD national assembly, former PM Benkirane congratulated Othmani, and said that he is ready to help.
Benkirane has gained support of two parties few weeks after the October elections last year, yet he has been unable to make a deal with a third party to secure the majority of 395-seat parliament.