Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has died at the age of 73.
He led two coups, first in 1979, before twice being elected president in multiparty polls.
A charismatic figure, he first seized power railing against corruption and was responsible for executing several former heads of state for their alleged graft and mismanagement.
He was also seen as a champion of the poor, but came to be criticised for alleged human rights abuses.
He died in hospital in the capital, Accra, after a short illness.
A week of national mourning has been announced in Ghana for the country’s longest-serving leader, who oversaw the transition to multiparty elections in what is now one of Africa’s most stable democracies.
John Mahama, presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), founded by Rawlings, has announced that he is suspending campaigning for next month’s elections.