Ivory Coast Prime Minister Patrick Achi in hospital in France

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Patrick Achi has been admitted to hospital in Paris for medical tests, according to reports.

The 65-year-old, a close aide of President Alassane Ouattara, was named prime minister in March following the death of the country’s second prime minister in less than eight months.

Two sources close to Achi told Reuters news agency he was being treated for “severe fatigue” suffered since his appointment in March. Achi replaced Hamed Bakayoko, who died of cancer at 56. Bakayoko had replaced Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who died following cardiac issues in July 2020.

There was no immediate comment by the government.

In the cases of both Gon Coulibaly and Bakayoko, government sources told reporters in the weeks before their deaths that they were suffering from fatigue.

Achi is seen as a potential successor to Ouattara, who won re-election to a third term in October 2020. Ouattara had designated Gon Coulibaly to be the ruling party’s candidate but decided to run after Gon Coulibaly died.

Achi is a key figure in discussions to resolve a large power generation deficit that has strained electricity supplies in urban areas for several weeks.

He visited France for health reasons last week but left prematurely to participate in discussions on the power problems, the sources said. He then returned to Paris on Tuesday, cancelling a tour of hydroelectric dams.

Achi will have routine examinations in Paris and rest for several days before returning to Ivory Coast, the sources said.

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