JUST IN: Ex-Ghanaian president, Jerry Rawlings dies from COVID-19

Jerry Rawlings

Former President of Ghana, Mr Jerry Rawlings, is dead.

He died on Thursday during an illness suspected to be COVID-19 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra. He was 73 years old.

Ghanaweb, an authoritative news agency in Ghana, disclosed the death of Rawlings, although it said details of the former president’s death are still sketchy.

Jerry Rawlings, a flight lieutenant of the Ghanaian Air Force, first staged military coup as a young revolutionary on May 15, 1979, five weeks before scheduled elections to return the country to civilian rule.

Upon its failure, he was imprisoned, court-martialed and sentenced to death.

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However, after initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

He then resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first president of the Fourth Republic.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years. After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as a presidential candidate in 2000.

He was born on June 22, 1947.

Last month, October 24, the former president buried his mother who died at the age of 104.

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