Abyaba served as the spokesperson of the government and the minister of youth, sports, and culture since October 2019.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI has sacked the Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture, and Spokesperson of the Government, Hassan Abyaba, today, April 7.
Minister of Education Said Amzazi will replace Abyaba as spokesperson of the government, while Othman El Ferdaous will take over the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture.
El Ferdaous is a public affairs and strategic communication professional. In April 2017, the King appointed him as secretary of state in charge of investment at the Ministry of Industry, Investment, Trade, and Digital Economy.
King Mohammed VI received Amzazi and El Ferdaous, along with Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, at the royal palace in Casablanca.
King Mohammed VI appointed Abyaba on October 9, 2019, as part of a government reshuffle. He replaced former culture minister Mohamed Laaraj, former spokesperson of the government Mustapha El Khalfi, and former sports minister Rachid Talbi Alami.
Abyaba has been the spokesperson of the Constitutional Union (UC) since 2016, joining the party in 1989.
The former minister stirred controversy during his term, notably when he regularly appeared unprepared at press conferences and failed to answer questions from the press.
In October 2019, videos of his first appearance as the government spokesperson went viral when he repeated the word “maybe” several times and failed to answer all questions.
His second unsuccessful appearance was at a parliamentary session. An MP asked the then-minister about measures to promote Moroccan youth and the role of youth centers.
Abyaba responded by reading the answer to a completely different question from a printed script. When several MPs stopped the minister, telling him that his speech does not answer the question, Abyaba replied: “This is what I have. This is what they gave me.”
On November 10, 2019, Abyaba misnamed Mauritanian President Mogaed Ould Ghazoauni in front of a large audience during the annual Festival of Ancient Cities in Cinquetti, Mauritania.
Abyaba clumsily called the Mauritanian president “Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Azzouzi.”
The minister’s termination comes shortly after he criticized correspondents working for foreign media accredited in Morocco. He accused some correspondents of professional misconduct and sharing inaccurate data related to COVID-19 in the country.