Officialy reported as a routine checkup, It has now been revealed that the Prime Minister was transferred to France at the beginning of May to treat his heart condition. Alassane Ouattara's successor for the next presidential term returned to Abidjan on 2 July. He must now dispel doubts about the state of his health and launch his campaign.
After two months stay in hospital in Paris and all kinds of rumours, the Prime Minister has - at last - returned to Abidjan on Thursday 2 July, welcomed by Alassane Ouattara and his wife Dominique, as well as by the Defence Minister, Hamed Bakayoko, who acted as his interim during his absence. Other ministers and members of his cabinet, as well as Adama Bictogo, the executive director of the Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la démocratie et la Paix (RHDP), were also present.
Published By Claude Djaquis Editor-In-Chief
For the presidential camp, it was about time. They were always convinced that there wasn't any other option than the candidacy of Amadou Gon Coulibaly, but doubts gradually emerged about his ability to assume the role of successor entrusted to him by Alassane Ouattara. For the outgoing President, there hasn't been a question of going back on his decision to leave power at the end of his second term, no question either of appointing another man than "Gon".
Amadou Gon Coulibaly, 61, had undergone a heart transplant in 2012. In May this year, he was rushed to Paris in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic for a heart ailment. Admitted at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, he underwent coronary angioplasty and had a stent inserted. But his stay, which was initially supposed to last "a few weeks" according to the government, was finally extended, due to complications in early June.
Now back in Abidjan, the Prime Minister officially resumed his duties but is not expected to return to his office until Monday. "He will use the weekend to see his family, his colleagues and get back on his feet here," said one of his close friends. According to his cabinet, there is no need to worry about his health, nor about his ability to sustain the gruelling campaign that awaits him in the coming weeks with meetings and numerous demands across the country. "He is doing very well and feels fully committed to the campaign," said one minister.
Now that their candidate has returned, the RHDP executives intend to launch their "electoral machine at full speed". There are still a few administrative issues, such as Amadou Gon Coulibaly's campaign team or the organisation of the congress which, subject to his degree of recovery, will be held on 1 August in Yamoussoukro.
Read about Cornary Angioplasty and Stents.