Ivory Coast PM to spend weeks in France on medical rest after heart exam

FILE PHOTO: Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly speaks during a news conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon/File Photo

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the ruling party’s candidate in this year’s presidential race, will stay in France for a few weeks of medical rest after undergoing a heart exam, the presidency said on Tuesday.

The 61-year-old Gon Coulibaly, who had heart surgery in 2012, flew to France over the weekend for medical checks. A coronary angiogram was carried out on Monday and his doctor recommended he be monitored, the presidency said in a statement.

“The prime minister will therefore continue his stay in France for a few weeks, before returning to Ivory Coast,” it said, without giving further details.

On Sunday, a source close to Gon Coulibaly said the prime minister had missed a scheduled check-up in France in April because he was busy coordinating Ivory Coast’s coronavirus response.

Defence Minister Hamed Bakayoko is serving as interim prime minister in Gon Coulibaly’s absence.

In March, President Alassane Ouattara designated Gon Coulibaly as the ruling RHDP party’s candidate for October’s presidential election after saying he would not himself seek a third term.

Gon Coulibaly’s candidacy has faced scepticism from some of Ouattara’s allies, who fear he lacks the charisma to run an effective race.

Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Lisa Shumaker