Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has appointed Defence Minister Hamed Bakayoko as prime minister after the sudden death of his predecessor earlier this month.
Former Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly had been handpicked to run as the candidate to succeed Ouattara but his death threw the ruling party into disarray ahead of October’s presidential election.
Bakayoko, a former radio and newspaper executive and longtime ally of Ouattara, has been considered a possible replacement for Gon Coulibaly as the presidential candidate, but the ruling party on Wednesday formally asked Ouattara to run again.
Ouattara, who had announced in March that he would step down after a decade in office, said he would take some time before making a decision.
The 55-year-old Bakayoko will retain his position as defence minister in his new post as prime minister.