Moroccan minister of state dies in train crash

Moroccan minister of state dies in train crash
1 min read
08 December, 2014
Abdellah Baha died on Sunday after being hit by a train.
Abdellah Baha (R) was a leading figure in Morocco's Justice and Development Party [AFP]
Abdellah Baha, Moroccan minister of state and deputy secretary-general of the Islamist Justice and Development Party, was hit by a train on Sunday 7 December.

The politician died in Bouznika, a neighbourhood south of the capital, Rabat, while inspecting the site where Ahmed al-Zaidi, a former member of parliament for the Socialist Union Party, drowned a few weeks ago.

Security authorities have opened an investigation into the collision and results will be made public as soon as it is completed, according to the ministry of interior.

Baha's body was reportely identifiable only by an official ID card found on his corpse.

His death is extremely damaging to the government and Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, who is also leader of the Justice and Development Party. Baha was a key government ally who had been close to Benkirane since the 1970s. He used to run many of the government's affairs, leading many to nickname him "the black box".

The new Moroccan constitution, ratified in July 2011, does not specify the position of minister of state in the government's structure. Despite this, the prime minister insisted on giving the position to Baha, as a indication of their deep relationship.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.