Ghana is remembering former President Jerry Rawlings, an iconic figure who died Thursday in the capital, Accra, at the age of 73.
Rawlings twice seized power in military coups, alleging government corruption, on his way to winning two terms as president before leaving office in 2001.
Rawlings continued to hold political sway in Ghana while assuming diplomatic duties. Rawlings is credited with ushering in multiparty democracy in Ghana and boosting the country’s economic profile through investments.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a statement on Rawlings’ death that "A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for this loss.”
Akufo-Addo’s main rival in the Dec. 7 election is the leader of Rawlings’ party, John Mahama, a former president defeated by Akufo-Addo four years ago, along with candidates from smaller parties.