Cote d'Ivoire entered an eight-day national mourning period on Friday, July 10, following the sudden death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. The mourning period is scheduled to culminate in Coulibaly's burial in his home town of Korhogo on Friday, July 17. The Prime Minister collapsed and died following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, July 8, less than a week after returning from extended medical leave in France where he was receiving treatment for a heart condition.
Although no major public events are planned ahead of Coulibaly's funeral, some disruptions to government services are possible during the official mourning period. Localized disruptions are likely around Korhogo on July 17.
Coulibaly's sudden death has created considerable political uncertainty in Cote d'Ivoire. The Prime Minister had been expected to stand as the presidential candidate for the ruling RHDP coalition in elections scheduled for October after President Alassane Ouattara announced that he would be stepping down. The death of his closest political ally has left Ouattara with no clear successor, with some suggestions that the RHDP may ask the President to stand for a controversial third term, the legality of which would almost certainly be challenged by the opposition. However, the government may also seek to delay October's polls in light of the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, giving the RHDP additional time to select its presidential candidate.
Those in Cote d'Ivoire are advised to monitor developments, anticipate localized disruption around Korhogo on July 17, and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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