Jerry Rawlings: Ghana’s Strongman bows to death aged 73
Jerry Rawlings held sway in Ghana for long: he seized power twice through military coup and won democratic elections twice. He was the only Ghanaian who had such privilege to power.
Born of Scottish father and Ghanaian mother, Rawlings rose to senior military position in Ghana Airforce, a platform he led a coup in 1979, before handing over to a civilian government. He again staged a coup two years later.
He headed the junta until introducing multi-party elections in 1992, when he was elected president. He stepped down in 2001 after serving two terms.
A charismatic figure, he came to power in 1979 railing against corruption.
Reports from Ghana say that the former president died in hospital in the capital, Accra, after a short illness.
In the few months that he led the country in 1979, he was responsible for executing several former heads of state and army generals after accusing them of corruption and mismanagement.
He was also seen as a champion of the poor and began his leadership of the country as a committed socialist.
Ralwings later introduced free-market reforms and ushered in a long period of political stability, that continues today, after a tumultuous series of coups in the 1960s and 1970s