Sudden death of Ivorian Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko

Is there a political curse in Ivory Coast at the post of Prime Minister? Without being superstitious, the question deserves to be raised. On march 10th 2021, Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko tragically passed away in Germany as a result of cancer. He had been replacing Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the former Prime Minister who suddenly died in exercising his duties as well, in July 2020. Ivory Coast has lost two Prime Ministers in less than a year.

Watch out social networks, there is no doubt that rumors and fake assertions will start proliferating about this sad loss for the country. Hamed Bakayoko was a political man that was appreciated by the whole country, which is quite an incredible thing in Ivory Coast where people are extremely sensitive to a political party’s membership: a political man has few chances to get their favors if he does not belong to their party, but Hamed Bakayoko, who sided with the president in RDR in 1994, was that kind of exception.

Involved in politics in the beginning of the 2000s, he was successively Minister of Telecommunications and New Technologies, Minister of the Interior and Defense Secretary, before taking the Prime Minister function last summer in replacement of Amadou Gon Coulibaly. Able to talk and negotiate with the opposition, and directly involved in the successful comeback to peace in Ivory Coast after a decade of civil war, Hamed Bakayoko was even seen by many as a potential successor to Alassane Ouattara. He was young (56), popular and capable, so it was kind of a legitimate thought.

What now? After the mourning will come the time to consider the future and the people to summon for the duty. Patrick Achi, Secretary-General of the Ivorian presidency, was appointed Prime Minister on an interim basis. Since Hamed Bakayoko was also the current Defense Secretary of the nation, the president had to find someone to replace him in this job as well: his little brother Téné Birahima Ouattara, Minister of Presidential Affairs, is the one, but it is still temporary work.

sources lemonde.fr and courrierinternational.com

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