Côte d’Ivoire: Death of Prime Minister leaves political void

By Benjamin Roger
Posted on Thursday, 9 July 2020 09:26, updated on Friday, 10 July 2020 11:05

Amadou Gon Coulibaly in Abidjan, on 8 December 2019 © Issam Zejli for Jeune Afrique

Côte d'Ivoire's Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Alassane Ouattara's runner-up in the October presidential election, died suddenly on Wednesday 8 July in Abidjan.

Reactions continue to pour in following news of his death on Wednesday evening.

The Prime Minister, a candidate of the ruling Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace party (RHDP), died after suffering a malaise while at the Council of Ministers. He had been evacuated to the International Polyclinic Sainte Anne-Marie (PISAM) in Abidjan.

In a statement on twitter expressing his “deep sorrow”, President Alassane Ouattara paid tribute to “his younger brother, [his] son, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was, for thirty years, [his] closest collaborator”, and hailed “the memory of a statesman of great loyalty, devotion and love for his country”, who embodied “this young generation of Ivorian executives of great competence and extreme loyalty to the Nation”.

“A great loss”

This is terrible news and a great loss,” said Georges Armand Ouégnin, president of the coalition Ensemble pour la Démocratie et la Souveraineté, EDS, (Together for Democracy and Sovreignty), and supporter of former President Laurent Gbagbo. “All we can do is offer our condolences to his immediate family, his political family and the entire Ivorian government.”

“We were stunned by his brutal disappearance,” said Pascal Affi N’Guessan, president of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI). We thought he had come back from his convalescence in France. The whole of Côte d’Ivoire is in mourning. On behalf of the FPI and on my own behalf, I would like to extend my condolences to the Head of State, the Government, the RHDP and all the families.”

READ MORE Côte d’Ivoire: Why Prime Minister Coulibaly is at hospital in France

“Sadness and surprise”

Reactions were also pouring in from abroad.

“I was saddened to learn of the death of Côte d’Ivoire’s Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly,” said Senegalese President Macky Sall. On behalf of the nation, I offer my deepest condolences to President Alassane Ouattara, his family and to our brothers the Ivorian people.

“It is with great sadness and surprise that we learned of his death,” said Alpha Barry, Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister. “We had a close relationship of friendship and brotherhood. On behalf of my government, I offer my condolences to the Ivorian government and his family.”

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