Moroccan politician feared for his iron grip. For more than two decades Driss Basri was the second most powerful man in Morocco - a trusted right-hand man, whose task was to preserve the Moroccan monarchy and the stability of the kingdom. Basri quashed popular uprisings while he was a Minister of Interior, from 1979 to 1999. He became emblem of the 'Makhzen', the secretive elite at the heart of power that controlled every aspect of national life. After the death of King Hassan II in July 1999, and with the coming of Muhammad VI to power, who brought political reform the position of Basri became untenable. The new King removed him from office in November 1999. This amounted to a political earthquake and was welcomed by Moroccans. Basri went into exile to Paris never to return in life to his native country. The son of a prison guard, Basri was born in the city of Settat. He began his career as a police officer in the Moroccan capital, Rabat. He was also a nationalist and activist in the independence of Morocco from France in 1956.
Compiler: M. Nauman Khan