Marrakech: Morocco's government lost its majority in parliament on Friday after a party in the governing coalition withdrew its support, raising questions over whether the cabinet could stay in power.
A senior official said the government could remain in office without a parliamentary majority either until the North African kingdom's ruler King Mohammad intervenes, or ministers lose a major vote in parliament.
The Authenticity and Modernity Party, which groups staunch supporters of the king, said its 46 members of parliament would now be in opposition and no longer vote with the government. One of its leaders until now served as education minister.
Without the party's support in the 325-seat parliament, the government will fall short of a majority.
The withdrawal follows mounting criticism over how ministers have responded to the global economic downturn, which has hit vital sources of revenue including tourism and cash transfers from Moroccans working abroad.
"The national executive bureau announced today its decision to withdraw the party's support for the majority of the current government," the party's Secretary-General Mohammad Shaikh Biadillah said in a statement.
It did not give a reason for its withdrawal but it has previously alleged government interference in the local elections scheduled to take place next month.
"The government is stable until it loses a confidence vote in parliament or his majesty the king decides on its fate," a senior government official, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters.
Another government source told Reuters the party's withdrawal "will weaken" the cabinet.