Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly has died on Wednesday aged 61.
President Alassane Ouattara announced on state TV that Coulibaly was unwell during a weekly cabinet meeting.
He was rushed to a hospital where he passed away, according to the President.
Mr. Coulibaly had returned to the Ivory Coast after undergoing a heart examination in France last Thursday.
After his arrival he said “I am back to take my place by the side of the president, to continue the task of developing and building our country.”
The deceased Prime Minister was picked as the candidate to replace President Ouattara in the upcoming presidential election.
The ruling party would now have to find a replacement for Coulibaly ahead of the October elections.
It is not clear if Mr. Ouattara would make a U-turn and run for president after earlier declaring he was bowing out and allowing a younger candidate to run.
The Le Monde in an article this week quoted a foreign observer as saying: “If Gon Coulibaly were unfit, Ouattara would have no choice but to run as a candidate because there is no plan B.
“This matter has so far remained taboo because the president has clearly shown his willingness to leave and indicated who his choice was to succeed him.”
President Ouattara was first elected in 2010 in an election that sparked a brief civil war when his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to concede defeat.
Around 3,000 people died in the violence. Political tensions have however been on the rise recently after the government issued an arrest warrant for Guillaume Soro.
There is no clear signal of who could challenge the ruling party’s candidate going into the October election.