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.
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