Former Moroccan PM Abderrahmane Youssoufi dies

May 30, 2020

RABAT — Former Moroccan prime minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi has died at the Cheikh Khalifa hospital in Casablanca following a prolonged illness.

The left-wing politician and symbol of Moroccan socialism entered the Casablanca hospital on May 24.

Youssoufi was born in Tangier on March 8, 1924.

He became prime minister of Morocco in 1998, serving the Moroccan people until 2004.

Before serving the Moroccan people as prime minister, Youssoufi was a human rights lawyer, activist, and advocate for immigrant workers’ rights in France.

His political career launched in 1959 when he joined the National Union of Popular Forces (UNFP). The iconic politician and human rights activist faced arrest in 1959 and 1963, serving a two-year prison sentence.

Youssoufi spent the next 15 years of his life in exile in Paris until he returned to Morocco to join the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP). He became the party’s secretary general.

In 1998, King Hassan invited Youssoufi to lead his government as prime minister. Youssoufi’s four year term brought increased freedoms for both the Moroccan people and the media.

He retired from politics in 2003 to spend his later years in Casablanca with his wife, Helene.

In 2016, the former prime minister went to the hospital with pneumonia, where he received a visit from King Mohammed VI.

The socialist icon’s last public appearance came in January 2020 in Fez, where he presented a book about his political experience by Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan economist and current head of the country’s Economic, Social, and Environmental Council (CESE).

Abderrahmane Youssoufi will forever leave his mark on Morocco, and Moroccans will remember him for his commitment to his country and his people.

In August 2019, on the 20th anniversary of his accession to the Moroccan throne, King Mohammed VI paid tribute to Youssoufi by naming a brigade of new military graduates after him.

“I have decided to name this year’s Group of Graduates after Mr. Abderrahmane Youssoufi, who shares with my late father, His Majesty King Hassan II, and with me the same unwavering principles: love for the homeland and a strong commitment to the nation’s sacred values, to the Kingdom’s territorial integrity and to the defense of its best interests,” he said. -- Agencies

May 30, 2020
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