The PM of Ivory Coast, Ahmadou Gon Coulibaly, has died after he fell ill at a ministerial meeting.
Mr. Coulibaly who is 61 years old had been chosen to run for president by the ruling party in the upcoming elections slated for October. it is publicly known that he had a heart condition and he had only returned from France a few days ago where he had undergone treatment.
President Ouattara said the country was in mourning.
He disclosed that Mr Gon Coulibaly had become fallen ill during a weekly cabinet meeting and was hurried to the hospital where he eventually passed on.
“I pay tribute to my younger brother, my son, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was for 30 years my closest partner. I salute the memory of a statesman of great loyalty, devotion and love for the homeland,” the President said.
The death of Mr. Coulibaly now creates uncertainty for the elections which is only just a few months away.
The late PM had received a heart transplant in 2012, and had gone to France on the 2nd of May to have a stent inserted.
He only just returned on Thursday, when he declared that: “I am back to take my place by the side of the president, to continue the task of developing and building our country.”
The polls had suggested that he was among the favourites to win the elections.
An article attributed to Le Monde on Monday said that, “if Gon Coulibaly were unfit, Ouattara would have no choice but to run as a candidate because there is no plan B. This matter has so far remained taboo because the president has clearly shown his willingness to leave and indicated who his choice was to succeed him.”
The supporters of the sitting President, Alassane Ouattara’s say that he has brought significant economic growth and stability to the country and that he had also renewed Ivory Coast’s standing on the international stage, as such these were enough impetus to hand his party the win this year via the late PM.
Opposition politicians and some section of Ivorians are however of the view that the president has not done enough to bring the nation together, and heal the wounds of the bitter conflict that divided Ivory Coast and then brought him to power about a decade ago.
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