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Home » World News » Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has died at the age of 73.

Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has died at the age of 73.

He led two coups, first in 1979, before twice being elected president in multi-party polls.

A charismatic figure, he first seized power railing against corruption and was responsible for executing several former heads of state for their alleged graft and mismanagement.

Jerry John Rawlings

He was also seen as a champion of the poor, but came to be criticised for alleged human rights abuses.

Reports from Ghana say that the former president died in hospital in the capital, Accra, after a short illness.

Jerry John Rawlings

As a senior officer in the Ghana Air Force, he overthrew a military government in 1979, handing over to a civilian leader.

Two years later he led a second coup and was the head of a military junta until introducing multi-party elections in 1992, when he was first elected president. He stepped down in 2001 after serving two terms.

Jerry John Rawlings

He began his time in power as a committed socialist, but later introduced free-market reforms.

He ushered in a long period of political stability, that continues in Ghana today, after a tumultuous series of coups in the 1960s and 1970s.

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