Ivory Coast Prime Minister Coulibaly dies aged 61

Elias Hubbard
July 9, 2020

Ivory Coast now has four months to nominate a successor to the outgoing president.

Coulibaly returned to the Ivory Coast last week after a two-month absence in France to receive medical treatment for recurring heart problems.

In a nationwide broadcast on Wednesday, Ouattara said: "I pay tribute to my little brother, my son, who for more than 30 years has been my closest ally".

"I am deeply saddened to announce that Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly left us in the afternoon, after having taken part in the Council of Ministers", JeuneAfrique quoted Patrick Achi, secretary general of the Ivorian presidency as saying.

His death is likely to set off a scramble within the ruling RHDP party to replace him as its candidate in an election that is considered a key test of stability for the world's top cocoa producer.

Ouattara's first win in 2010 over incumbent Laurent Gbagbo sparked a brief civil war in which about 3,000 people died, and political tensions have been rising ahead of October's poll.

Coulibaly was the candidate of the ruling Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace for the October 2020 presidential election following President Alassane Ouattara's decision not to run for another term.

Following the closure of Ivory Coast's borders due to the coronavirus pandemic, Coulibaly - who had a heart transplant in 2012 - travelled to France on May 2 for medical care.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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