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North Africa Politics

Moroccan Political Leader, Mahjoubi Aherdan, Dies Aged 100



Iconic Moroccan political leader, Mahjoubi Aherdan, is dead.

Aherdan, a former Moroccan soldier, politician, Berberist, poet and painter, died on Sunday morning in Rabat at the age of 100.

He was said to have been previously suffering from an undisclosed ailment.

The Oulmes native had a long-running political career that began under the French protectorate and continued long after Morocco gained independence.

Notably, he was one of the founders of Morocco’s Popular Movement (MP) in 1957, alongside Abdelkrim al-Khatib, acting as its secretary-general during its second congress in Marrakech in 1962.

Mahjoubi Aherdan served as the wali (governor) of Rabat after Morocco’s independence in 1956 and was a member of the first Moroccan government. Between 1961 and 1964, he acted as Morocco’s minister of defense.

He became the minister of agriculture in 1964, then the minister of agriculture and land reform the following year. Between February 1966 and March 1967, Mahjoubi Aherdan was again the minister of national defense.

In 1977, he became the minister of state for posts and telecommunications. He was also appointed minister of state in charge of cooperation in the government of Maati Bouabid.

As the head of one of the six major political parties in Morocco, Mahjoubi Aherdan also acted as minister of state in the government of Mohamed Karim Lamrani.

In June 1991, he was dismissed from his position as secretary-general of the MP. The dismissal from the political party he co-founded in 1957, however, did not end his political career.

He founded a new party, the National Popular Movement, in October 1986 and won the municipal elections in June 1997.

In March 2006, the leaders of Morocco’s Popular Movement, the National Popular Movement, and the Democratic Union decided to unite to form one party.

The members of the newly-united Popular Movement chose Mahjoubi Aherdane as the party’s chairman.

Along with his illustrious political career, Aherdan was known for his artistic talents as a painter and poet.

The late political leader leaves behind a long legacy that Moroccan politicians will reflect on for decades to come. His funeral will take place on Monday in his hometown of Oulmes.

North Africa Politics

Algeria’s President Tebboune to Return Home after COVID-19 Treatment in Germany



Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is set to return home from a German hospital “in the coming days” after treatment for COVID-19.

“The president assures the Algerian people that he is recovering and will return to the homeland in the coming days,” the office said in a statement, published on Facebook.

In late October, Tebboune was transported to Germany for an in-depth medical examination following a doctor recommendation.

Shortly after, the office announced that the president was diagnosed with COVID-19.

In compliance with the recommendations of his medical team, the 75-year-old Algerian leader continues to undergo the rest of recovery procedures after leaving a specialised medical facility in Germany, the office added.

Tebboune has served as the president of Algeria since December 2019.

He assumed the post after the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika following months of protests.

Since the start of the pandemic, 83,199 cases of the coronavirus have been registered in Algeria.

To date, the North African country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 2,431, while the number of recoveries is approaching 54,000.

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North Africa Politics

Libya Prepares for Elections



The Libyan National High Electoral Commission (HNEC) has begun discussions with the chairmen of boards of electoral departments of the Commission in all Libyan regions preparations for the general election due in December next year.

An official source in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, said the managing director of the HNEC, Yahya al-Jadid, met with more than 20 participants via Zoom to discuss obstacles, challenges and the means to overcome them.

In a statement, the commission said al-Jadid underlined “the importance of that communication between the general department and its offices, in light of the developments of the political process and tasks awaiting the commission”.

He stressed the need for concerted efforts to raise the level of preparation and address the potential needs and obstacles.

The chiefs of office reviewed the need to procure office materials and to resolve the obstacles linked to the administrative aspect and the state of preparation of the commission.

The HNEC heads the electoral department which in turn counts 24 offices shared in all Libyan regions charged with implementing the electoral process, each within its electoral area.

The participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum held on 9-15 November in Tunis, under the aegis of the UN Support Mission in Libya, agreed on a roadmap setting a transitional period and the date for the presidential and parliamentary elections for 24 December 2021.

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North Africa Politics

Sudan’s Former PM, Sadiq al-Mahdi, Dies from COVID-19



Sudanese politician and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi has died at the age of 84.

The octogenarian died from a coronavirus infection weeks after being hospitalized in the United Arab Emirates, according to family sources and a party statement early on Thursday.

Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military coup that brought former president Omar al-Bashir to power. Mahdi’s Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under Bashir.

Last month, his family said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred to the UAE for treatment a few days later following a brief hospitalization in Sudan.

According to a statement by his party, Mahdi would be buried on Friday morning in the city of Omdurman in Sudan.

No successor has been named by the party but al-Mahdi’s daughter Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, who is the party’s deputy leader has been the most visible party leader in political negotiations and the media in recent years.

Leading Sudanese opposition figure Sadiq al Mahdi talks during an interview with Reuters in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 25, 2019.

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