Former President of Ghana, Flt Lt (rtd) Jerry John Rawlings turns 71 today, Friday, June 22, 2018.
Rawlings known for his vociferous nature is admired for his contribution to Ghana’s democracy and development. He is also known for his anti-corruption credentials and for his unwavering advocacy of social justice, political and socio-economic empowerment of Ghanaians.
Last year, as part of activities to mark his 70th birthday, the former President spent time with over 600 children at Chorkor, a fishing community in the Ablekuma South Constituency, to read and encourage them.
He was born in Accra, Ghana, to Victoria Agbotui and James Ramsey John, a chemist from the United Kingdom.
He was twice the head of state of Ghana. His first political appearance on the Ghanaian scene was on May 15, 1979, when an unsuccessful coup d’état he led resulted in his arrest, imprisonment, and a death sentence. But before he could be executed, his friends in the Ghana military led by Junior Officers and the ranks overthrew the then military government of General Fred Akuffo in a coup on June 4, 1979.
The Junior Officers and the ranks set Rawlings free from prison and installed him as head of the new government – the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). The AFRC handed over power to Dr. Hilla Limann who won the popular vote in the election to establish the Third Republic. Less than two years later, Dr. Limann’s civilian and constitutional government was overthrown again by Jerry Rawlings on December 31, 1981. He then installed the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) regime.
After two terms in office, barred by the constitution from standing in any election, he anointed his vice-president John Atta-Mills as his choice to replace him as President. Ghanaians rejected his choice in the 2000 election by voting for the opposition NPP’s candidate, John Kufuor.
He is a product of Achimota School and married to Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings with whom he has four children: three girls and a boy.
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