Ivory Coast PM and presidential candidate Coulibaly dies aged 61

0
115

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly died Wednesday after attending a cabinet meeting, just three months before presidential elections that he was due to contest. He was 61.

 

Coulibaly was the ruling RHDP coalition’s candidate for president in an election scheduled in October. He was appointed prime minister in 2017.

“I am deeply saddened to announce that Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the head of government, left us early this afternoon after taking part in a cabinet meeting,” Patrick Achi, secretary-general to the Ivory Coast presidency, said on public television.

His death creates huge uncertainty over the election in the world’s top cocoa grower, which has returned to normalcy after years of political turbulence and a low-level civil war.

Coulibaly was named as the candidate for President Alassane Ouattara’s party in early March, after Ouattara ended months of speculation and said he would not seek a controversial third term.

Ouattara in 2011 ousted the then-president, Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to step down after losing elections in a standoff that triggered violence that claimed some 3,000 lives. He has served two terms.

“I pay tribute to my younger brother, my son Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was my closest collaborator for 30 years,” Ouattara said in a statement.

“I salute the memory of a statesman, a man of great loyalty, dedication and love for his homeland,” he added.

Coulibaly’s death raises the question of who might now be chosen as the party’s presidential candidate, with some speculating it could be Defence Minister Hamed Bakayoko.

Others suggest that Ouattara might also decide to run again now and that there is no “plan B”.

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.

READ ALSO:Coronavirus: Nigeria and Ghana are the biggest African recipients of IMF funds – Report

‘Lion of Korhogo’
He received a stent about a week after arriving in France following an exam of his coronary arteries.

“I am back to take my place by the side of the president, to continue the task of developing and building our country,” Coulibaly said on arrival at the airport in Abidjan last Thursday.

A father of five who earned an engineering degree in France, he had a reputation for hard work and a temper that led to his nickname, “The Lion” of Korhogo, the country’s fourth-largest city, which was his native place.

Coulibaly wielded great influence among traditional leaders of the Senoufo ethnic group, from which he came.

Watch Leakblast TV channel from around the world

But critics said he lacked charisma and his nomination for president did not go down well with several leaders of his ruling coalition, the Houphouetist Rally for Democracy and Peace (RHDP).

His many positions since starting out in politics in 1994 at Ouattara’s side included technical advisor, senior civil servant, deputy and mayor of Korhogo, agriculture minister, cabinet minister and finally prime minister.

Like Ouattara, he was at ease in international financial circles and was also the country’s budget minister, giving priority to solid macro-economic management over social programmes, according to critics.

Thanks for Reading via the most updated news portal

About Leakblast.com

Share your story with us

Advertise With us

Encourage & Support LeakBlast

Feel free to contact us

Call Us:+234(0)9073726403
Get us on Whatsapp: +234(0)8181166425      
Email Us: editors@leakblast.com

SUPPORT LEAKBLAST JOURNALISM OF INTEGRITY AND CREDIBILITY

Good  journalism costs a lot of money.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble Endeavor.

By contributing to LeakBlast, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Support LeakBlast

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here