Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister and the ruling party’s candidate for October's presidential election, has died.

Coulibaly died on Wednesday after taking part in a cabinet meeting, Patrick Achi, Secretary-General in the presidency, said in a statement on national television.

Achi said the 61-year-old late Prime Minister, who had heart surgery in 2012, became unwell during the weekly meeting and was evacuated to a hospital where he passed away. 

He had returned to Ivory Coast last Thursday after two months in France to undergo a heart exam and rest.

“Fellow compatriots, Ivory Coast is mourning. It is with deep pain that I announce to you that Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, has left us,” the statement read.

His death is likely to set off a scramble within the ruling RHDP party to replace him as its candidate in an election that is considered a key test of stability for the world’s top cocoa producer.

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