Abdelilah Benkirane's moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) emerged as the biggest party in parliamentary elections in November 2011, and in accordance with Morocco's new constitution, introduced in July 2011, King Mohammed was obliged to choose a prime minister from the party that won the most seats.
Mr Benkirane leads a broad coalition, in which his party holds the top positions but governs in tandem with conservative monarchists, liberals, socialists and former communists. One of the coalition partners, the Istiqlal party, resigned in July 2013, prompting a political crisis. A new power-sharing deal was forged months later with the centre-right National Rally of Independents.
The PJD gained power for the first time in 2011 and is the first Islamist party to run Morocco, the Arab world's oldest monarchy.
Several cabinet posts, including that of religious affairs, have been directly appointed by the palace.
Morocco is beset by soaring unemployment and the rising prices of basic commodities, and the new prime minister promised that the government's focus would be on creating jobs and tackling corruption. Nonetheless, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Casablanca in a trade-union rally to protest at the government's lack of progress on these issues.
Mr Benkirane, who was elected head of the PJD in 2008, leads its more pro-monarchy faction and has stated his support for a strong king.
Born in Rabat, he trained as a teacher and went on to set up a private school. After an early flirtation with socialism, he joined an Islamic youth group in his early twenties. He is married and has six children.