Ivory Coast Prime Minister dies on suspicion of heart problems

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly died on Wednesday at the age of 61.

Coulibaly was chosen as the candidate of the ruling party for the October presidential elections, after President Alassane Ouattara decided not to seek a third term.

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The secretary general of the Ivorian presidency, Patrick Ashi, confirmed the death of the prime minister on national television in Abidjan.

He said: "I am deeply saddened to announce that Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the head of government, left us early in the afternoon after attending a cabinet meeting."

Read too: Ivory Coast registers first death from COVID-19

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Coulibaly returned to Côte d'Ivoire last week, after a two-month absence in France, to receive medical treatment for recurrent heart problems.

The President paid tribute to the deceased Prime Minister.

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

"I salute the memory of a statesman, a man of great loyalty, dedication and love for his homeland."

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