Prime minister of Ivory Coast dies at age 61.

Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly speaks during an event on May 9, 2019. Photo: CNN

Ivory Coast, West Africa – Prime minister of Ivory Coast, Amadou Gon Coulibaly passed away after falling ill at a ministerial meeting.

After seeking two terms in office, President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara decided that Mr Gon Coulibaly would not seek a third term in office and that he will be the ruling party’s candidate for October’s presidential election.

Mr Gon Coulibaly had recently returned back to Ivory Coast from France, after his two months of heart treatment, and had passed away on Wednesday at the hospital where he was taken to when he became unwell during a weekly cabinet meeting.

With Mr Gon Coulibaly death, huge uncertainty grew over the election in Ivory Coast, which has returned to normalcy after years of political turbulence and a brief civil war that killed 3,000 people.

President Alassane Ouattara paid tribute to the late Prime Minister Mr Gon Coulibaly saying: “I pay tribute to my younger brother, my son, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was for 30 years my closest partner, I salute the memory of a statesman of great loyalty, devotion and love for the homeland.”

Mr Gon Coulibaly had received a heart transplant in 2012 and on May 2nd had traveled to Paris for the insertion of a stent.

When he returned on late Thursday evening, he said: “I am back to take my place by the side of the president, to continue the task of developing and building our country.”

Mr Gon Coulibaly was among the favourites to win the presidential election.