- "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."
- Coulibaly had planned on contesting the country's presidential elections, scheduled for October.
- "I pay tribute to my young brother, my son, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was, for 30 years, my closest collaborator," the President said.
Ivorian Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly died on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting. Coulibaly was rushed to a hospital in the nation’s capital, Abidjan, after he began feeling unwell. He was 61. The prime minister had just returned to Côte d’Ivoire on July 2, after close to two months in France.
“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.
Coulibaly had undergone a heart operation a few years ago and, in late March, he was in confinement after he came in contact with an individual who tested positive for the new coronavirus. At the time of his sudden death, he had already resumed his day to day activities in his role as the premier. He had been in France undergoing medical examinations related to heart complications.
Gon Coulibaly, aside from being the Ivorian Prime Minister, had planned on contesting the country’s presidential elections, scheduled for October. He was President Alassane Ouattara’s successor as head of the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP). The outgoing President announced in March that he would not be seeking a third term.
The late Prime minister was a close friend and a close confidant of the President Ouattara, who had known and closely worked with him for three decades. Being the rulling party’s presidential candidate, his chances of ascending to the nation’s presidency were very high. President Ouattara in mourning him described him as his younger brother and son.
“I pay tribute to my young brother, my son, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was, for 30 years, my closest collaborator,” he said. “I salute the memory of a statesman, of great loyalty, devotion and love for the homeland. With the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the country loses a model for young people. An example of competence, hard work and self-sacrifice,” read the message by President Ouattara.
In a tweet, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, also mourned the departed leader. He sent his condolences to Coulibaly’s family, as well as to President Ouattara and the Ivorian people in general. ”Rest in peace,” he wrote on the social media platform, Twitter.
The late Amadou Gon Coulibaly assumed office as the Ivorian Prime Minister under the presidency of President Ouattara on January 10, 2017. Prior to the role, he had served as the country’s Minister of Budget for almost three years. In the aftermath of the violent political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, Amadou Gon Coulibaly took over as Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic in April 2011.
Previously, Coulibaly had also served as a minister in the nation’s former President Laurent Gbagbo’s administration, having been appointed by the former president as Minister of Agriculture in October 2002.