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Rawlings, Jerry (1947–)

Jerry John Rawlings, who ruled Ghana between June and September 1979 and from December 1981 to January 2001, was born on June 22, 1947. He is charismatic, with a penchant for populist rhetoric and a cunning ability to identify with the masses. His analysis of deprivation and poverty pits the privileged elite against the oppressed masses. At a symbolic level, these acts demystified the office of the head of state and presented Rawlings as a leader in touch with his people by being willing to sacrifice the conveniences of office. His political rhetoric emphasizes accountability, probity, equity, social justice, and grassroots participation, portraying him as a paragon of virtue and a defender of the subaltern, even though some actions by his governments cast doubt on ...

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