Ivory Coast’s prime minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly who is also the ruling party’s candidate for the next presidential election, has died at the age of 61.
The country’s president, Alassane Ouattara announced his death.
“Fellow compatriots, Ivory Coast is mourning. It is with deep pain that I announce to you that Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly has left us,” Ouattara said in a statement read on national television by the presidency’s secretary-general on Wednesday, July 8.
“I salute the memory of a statesman, a man of great loyalty, dedication and love for his homeland,” added Ouattara.
Officials said Coulibaly was unwell during a ministerial meeting at the presidential palace in Abidjan and was rushed to a hospital where he passed away.
Coulibaly had returned to Ivory Coast last Thursday after undergoing medical treatment for two months in France. Local media have speculated that the medical treatment was related to his 2012 heart transplant.
He was expected to be RHDP presidential candidate in March after president Ouattara announced that he would not seek a third term.
Coulibaly served as the prime minister since January 2017 after serving as secretary general of the presidency for six years.