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Ivory Coast PM returns ahead of presidential race

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Ivory Coast Prime Minister and ruling party’s candidate in the October 2020 presidential election Amadou Gon Coulibaly, wearing a protective face mask, delivers a speech to members of the government upon his arrival at Felix Houphouet Boigny Airport after “recovering” in France following heart problems in Abdijan on July 2, 2020. (Photo by SIA KAMBOU / AFP)


Ivorian Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the ruling party’s candidate in the October presidential election, returned home Thursday after a two-month absence for medical treatment in France.

Coulibaly was announced as the candidate for President Alassane Ouattara’s party in early March after Ouattara ended months of speculation and said he would not seek a controversial third term.

But following the closure of Ivory Coast’s borders due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 61-year-old prime minister — who had a heart transplant in 2012 — travelled to France on May 2 for medical care.

“I am back to take my place by the side of the president, to continue the task of developing and building our country, Ivory Coast,” Coulibaly said on arrival at the airport.

Coulibaly received a stent about a week after arriving in France after an exam of his coronary arteries, the West African country’s government said earlier.

A government communication ministry spokesperson said Coulibaly’s ill health had been “an ordinary illness due to his age… nothing extraordinary”.


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