JUST IN: PRIME MINISTER OF THE IVORY COAST, AMADOU GON COULIBALY, 61, HAS DIED.

The Government of Ivory Coast has confirmed the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. He died at the age of 61 in the capital Abidjan. “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.

“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.

The deceased returned home July 2(last week) after a two-month absence during which period he was receiving medical treatment for recurring heart problems in France.

Coulibaly is a close ally of Ouattara and has held the Prime Minister portfolio since 2017.

He was the presidential candidate of the ruling party in upcoming polls meant to choose a new president as incumbent Alassane Ouattara leaves office after two terms. The party elected him as flag bearer in March 2020 for the October polls. “I am back home to take my place at the President’s side, to continue the work of development and construction of our country, Côte d’Ivoire,” Coulibaly said upon his return.

He had been part of a cabinet meeting this morning according to reports. His official Twitter handle posted messages lauding the efforts and leadership of Ouattara.

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