Leaders from Ivory Coast’s ruling party agreed at a closed-door meeting late Wednesday to press President Alassane Ouattara to seek a third term in October’s presidential election.
This follows the sudden death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, two sources said on condition of anonymity. “All options are on the table, including a new candidacy for President Ouattara,” AFP reports the ruling party’s executive director, Adama Bictogo, as saying.
Ouattara announced in March that he would not stand for re-election after 10 years in office and designated his closest ally prime minister Gon Coulibaly, as the RHDP party’s candidate.
Gon Coulibaly’s death on Wednesday, less than a week after he returned to Ivory Coast from an extended medical leave in France for heart issues, left the RHDP scrambling to choose a replacement.
A formal leadership meeting is in the works ahead of the July 31 candidate submission deadline.
The election is expected to be the most hotly contested since 2010, when Ouattara’s victory over Laurent Gbagbo sparked a brief civil war in which 3,000 people died.