President's health raises fears in Ivory Coast

Ouattara, 72, a former managing deputy director of the International Monetary Fund, travelled to France earlier this month – on what was thought by many Ivorians as one of his numerous leisure trips abroad.

President's health raises fears in Ivory Coast

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who underwent surgery for nerve pain in France last week, has yet to return home – prompting opposition calls for greater transparency regarding his health condition.

"We're not taking advantage of the president's health condition. It's a normal thing to fall sick and get treatment," Affi N'guessan, head of the opposition Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party, told Anadolu Agency in Abidjan.

"What we and the entire population need is clarity from the government," he insisted.

"What really happened?" N'guessan asked. "Where is he now and when is he returning to the country..? And [can] his continuous absence be described as a power vacuum?"

Presidential Secretary Amadou Gon Coulibaly declined to comment on the issue, saying his office had already issued an official statement.

Ouattara, 72, a former managing deputy director of the International Monetary Fund, travelled to France earlier this month – on what was thought by many Ivorians as one of his numerous leisure trips abroad.

However, the presidency released a brief statement on Monday saying Ouattara had successfully undergone surgery for sciatica and that he would return home after a brief recovery period in France.

Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko, a staunch member of the ruling Rally of the Republicans (RDR), returned to the Ivory Coast from Paris on Wednesday.

He told reporters in Abidjan that he had met with the president.

"He was doing very fine," Bakayoko said.

Sciatica is a common form of lower back and leg pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve.

Local and international experts describe it as a benign condition that should not prevent Ouattara from carrying out his official duties, currently being carried out by Prime Minister Daniel Kablan.

Last Mod: 13 Şubat 2014, 13:30
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