The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has suspended his six-day campaign tour of the Ashanti Region with immediate effect following news of the passing of former President Jerry John Rawlings.
A statement from the Mahama 2020 campaign team described Mr Rawlings as an “iconic” figure.https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FJDMahama%2Fposts%2F3846652378679223&show_text=true&width=552&height=186&appId
Mr Rawlings was the founder of the NDC.
He passed away Thursday morning at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
Mr Rawlings recently buried his mother, Madam Victoria Agbotui, who was 101 years old.
Mr Rawlings was 73 years old.
He was a former military leader, who subsequently became a civilian politician and led the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979.
He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically-elected President of Ghana.
Rawlings initially came to power as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’etat in 1979.
Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on 15 May 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.
After initially handing over power 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).
In 1992, Mr Rawlings 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, Mr Rawlings stepped aside and endorsed his vice-president, the late John Atta Evans Atta Mills, as a presidential candidate in 2000.