Rabat, Morocco(TMT)– Abderrahmane El Youssoufi, a well-known leftist political figure in Morocco, who was arrested twice under the late King Hassan II’s rule (1959 and 1963), including having spent two years in prison as a political prisoner, passed away at the age of 96.
El Youssoufi lived in a self-imposed exile in France for 15 years, before returning to Morocco and leading the famous Gouvernement d’Alternance as a Prime Minister.
El Youssoufi is given credit for helping Morocco go through a smooth transition phase following the death of King Hassan II in 1998 and the passing of power to his son, King Mohammed VI.
El Youssoufi passed away in the wee hours of Friday in a hospital in Casablanca, his family members said.
He had underlying health conditions. Four years ago, King Mohammed VI visited El Youssoufi in a local hospital in Casablanca as the latter was suffering from a bad cold with respiratory complications.
The Moroccan monarch broke back-then with the Moroccan protocol, kissing Abderrahmane on the top of his head, to honor the respected opposition leader, an unprecedented event in the history of Morocco.
Before becoming a prime minister, Abderrahmane El Youssoufi was well-known as a human rights activist and a journalist.
From 1959 to 1965, he was the editor-in-chief of Attahrir newspaper, the mouthpiece of the National Union of Popular Forces, which in 1975 became the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP).
El Youssoufi was born in Tangier on March 8, 1924.
El Youssoufi retired from politic few months following the end of his tenure as prime minister of Morocco.
The Moroccan Times.