President Nana Akufo-Addo and his main contender in the 7 December 2020 elections, John Mahama, have suspended their campaigns following the death on Thursday (12 November) of the former president Jerry John Rawlings.
The first president of the Fourth Republic died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a short illness, the Office of the President confirmed in a statement.
President Akufo-Addo has directed that “all national flags should fly at half-mast for the next seven days in all parts of the country, and have declared seven days of national mourning from Friday 13 November to Friday 20 November”.
The president’s statement said that, in honour of Rawlings: “The Vice-President and I have suspended our political campaigns for the same period.”
A great tree has fallen
“I convey the deep sympathies of the government and people of Ghana to his wife, the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, the children and the family of the late President, in these difficult times.
“Government will work closely with the family of President Rawlings on the arrangements for a fitting State Funeral for the late President, and will keep the nation informed accordingly. A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for this loss,” the statement said.
Mahama, who was in the Ashanti Region when the news broke, also announced the suspension of his campaign tour of the region.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed by the late president’s eldest daughter, Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, his family has requested “privacy at this difficult moment”.
“Details of funeral arrangements will be announced in due course,” the statement said.
Rawlings was an iconic figure and founder of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
His last public appearance was on 24 October during the burial of his late mother, Victoria Agbotui.