Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings (J.J.)
Former President (1993-2001)
Date of Birth: 22/06/1947
Place of Birth: Accra, Gold Coast
Education: O Levels, Achimota School, 1966; Officer Cadet Training, Ghana Military Academy, Accra and Takoradi, 1967-69.
Career: Pilot, Ghana Air Force (GAF), 1969-78; Flight Lieutenant, GAF, 1978-92; Head of State, Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), 1979; Head of State, Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), Ghana, 1981-93; President of Ghana, National Democratic Congress (NDC), 1993-2001.
Commentary: Rawlings staged his first military coup as a young revolutionary in May 1979. When it failed, he was imprisoned and sentenced to death. Following another coup mounted by junior army officers in June 1979, Rawlings was set free, and became Head of State under the banner of the the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. In September 1979, the AFRC handed over power to Hilla Limann of the People's National Party, after he won the presidential elections.
In 1981, Rawlings toppled Limann in yet another coup. He remained a military dictator for 12 years until he was elected President in 1993, a position he held until 2001, when John Kufuor's New Patriotic Party (NPP) government came to power.
Although praised by many in the West as a democratic figure, especially in comparison to his counterparts in Sierra Leone and Liberia, Rawlings has not been able to shake off the stigma of military dictatorship.
As founder of the NDC, he continues to wield considerable influence over the party. Despite backing John Atta Mills in his bid for the presidency, he was very vocal in his criticism of the Mills government.
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Although the bid by the challenger, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, wife of former President John Jerry Rawlings, failed grimly, the move led to her defection from the NDC and growing worries about the party leadership...
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CÔTE D'IVOIRE | GHANA
Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings was also sympathetic to Gbagbo...
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A third NDC group is residually loyal to its founder, ex-President Jerry John Rawlings...
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Who’s who on the Supreme Court panel
• William Anaam Atuguba, Chairman, from Upper East Region, was appointed to the Court in 1996 by Jerry John Rawlings, then President...
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CÔTE D'IVOIRE | GHANA
It also suggests that newly elected President Mahama is breaking decisively with ex-President Jerry Rawlings, who favoured close ties with Gbagbo’s allies...
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Internal party polling suggested Mahama should try hard to woo the former President and NDC founder, Jerry John Rawlings, who had been a trenchant critic of Mills...
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Both she and her husband, ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, distrust the current leadership of the party he founded, the NDC...
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They did so hoping for political support from Jerry Rawlings, the former President, according to sources in Accra and in Abdijan...
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After backroom negotiations, Mahama secured what he called the ‘symbolically important’ presence of ex-President Jerry John Rawlings on 31 August at the NDC conference...
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Some of the fiercest attacks came from his own NDC party, led by former President Jerry John Rawlings...
An important concern for NDC strategists is the popularity of Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings, an avowed critic of Mills’s government whose wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, challenged Mills for the party leadership at last year’s NDC conference but scored under 5% of the vote...