Ghana:The Four Johns of The Fourth Republic

What’s in a name or open Sesame to Flagstaff House? The Last four Ghanaian leaders have something in common: The name John
What’s in a name or open Sesame to Flagstaff House? The Last four Ghanaian leaders have something in common: The name John

Ghana was the first black African nation to win independence on 6th March 1957. On July 1, 1960, Ghana became a republic after Dr. Kwame Nkrumah won the 1960 Presidential Elections. This was followed by military and civilian governments until the current Fourth Republic came into being.

Ghana’s Fourth Republic came into effect on January 7th 1993, after presidential and parliamentary elections in December 1992. The 1992 Constitution provides the basic charter for the country’s fourth Republican democratic government since independence in 1957. It declares Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people.

The 1992 Constitution reflects the lessons drawn from the abrogated constitutions of 1957, 1960, 1969, and 1979, and it incorporates provisions and institutions drawn from British and United States constitutional models.
The 1992 constitution, as the supreme law of the land, provides for the sharing of powers among a president, a parliament, a cabinet, a Council of State, and an independent judiciary.
The president is head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces of Ghana. He also appoints the vice president.
Ghana has had four presidents since the coming into being of the fourth Republic..

1992 -2000 John Jerry Rawlings was the first president of the fourth Republic of Ghana after the PNDC government which lasted for eleven years. In January 1993, Rawlings effected a peaceful transition from being a military ruler to an elected president of the Fourth Republic.

Jerry John Rawlings was born on 22 June 1947. Jerry John Rawlings ruled Ghana as a military Leader in 1979 and from 1981 to 1992 when he was elected as the

John Jerry Rawlings
John Jerry Rawlings

First President of the Fourth Republic from 1993 to 2000.  Jerry John Rawlings retired from the Armed Forces and set up the National Democratic Congress. The party, with Rawlings as its candidate won the 1992 elections with 58.3 percent. In 1996, Rawlings won the general elections again by 57 percent.. After two terms in office, barred by the constitution from standing in any election, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president then, John Evans Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000. The NDC with Professor John Evans Atta Mills as candidate, however, lost the elections to the NPP candidate John Agyekum Kufuor in the December 2000 elections.

2001-2008 John Agyekum Kuffour was the 2nd President of the 4th Republic of Ghana. He came into office on January 7th 2001 after the presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2000.

John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor was born on 8th December 1938. John Kufuor’s won the December 2000 elections to become the 2nd President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. His victory in the December 2000 elections after the end of Jerry Rawlings’ second term marked the first peaceful democratic transition of power in Ghana since the country’s independence in 1957.  John Kufuor came to the political scene as a minister in Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia’s Progress Party government during Ghana’s Second Republic, and a Popular Front Party opposition frontbencher during the Third Republic.

John Kufuour
John Kufuour

John Kufuor won the presidential election of December 2000 in the first round, held on 7 December. John Kufuor came first with 48.4%, while John Atta-Mills came in second with 44.8%, forcing the two into a run-off vote. In the second round, held on 28 December, John Kufour was victorious, taking 56.9% of the vote. John Kufuor was re-elected in presidential and parliamentary elections held on 7 December 2004, earning 52.45% of the popular vote in the first round and thus avoiding a run-off.


2009 -2012 

John Evans Atta Mills was the 3rd President of the 4th Republic of Ghana. He came into office on January 7th 2009 after the presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2008 .

John Evans Fifii Atta Mills was born on 21 July 1944. He was President of Ghana from 2009 until his death in July 2012. He assumed office on 7th January 2009, after he won the December 2008 elections after the third round of voting.

John Evans Fifii Atta Mills was the vice-president of Ghana from 1997 to 2001 under President Jerry Rawlings, He stood as President in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections as the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but was unsuccessful.  The results of the first round of elections in December 2008 had Nana Akufo-Addo in front with 49.13% of the vote whiles John Atta Mills had 47.92%.

John Attah Mills
John Attah Mills

The second round of voting took place on 28 December 2008 and the result was a slim lead held by John Atta Mills, but, the Tain constituency, located in the Brong-Ahafo Region, was forced to vote again on 2 January 2009. The final result was a victory for John Evans Mills with 50.23% of the vote whiles Nana Akufo-Addo had 49.77%. John Atta Mills thus became the third president of the 4th Republic Of Ghana. He is the first Ghanaian head of state to die in office.


2012- John Dramani Mahama assumed office as President of the Republic of Ghana on July 24th 2012 after the death of late Professor John Evans Atta Mills.

John Dramani Mahama was born on 29th November 1958. He has been President of Ghana since July 2012. He was the Vice President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, and he took office as President on 24 July 2012 following the death of Professor John Atta Mills.

A Communications expert, historian, and writer, President John Mahama was a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2009 and Minister of Communications from 1998 to 2001.  On August 30th 2012, President John Mahama was overwhelmingly endorsed as Flagbearer for the NDC Party for the December 2012 elections by NDC Delegates at a Special Extraordinary Congress held in Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti Region. He polled 2,767 votes, representing 99.5% out of 2,792 total votes cast. 11 votes were rejected while 14 voted no.

In line with Ghana’s constitution, President John Mahama became President of Ghana on 24 July 2012 on the death of Late President John Atta Mills. He said in

John Mahama
John Mahama

Parliament upon being sworn in: This is the saddest day in our nation’s history. Tears have engulfed our nation and we are deeply saddened and distraught. I’m personally devastated, I’ve lost a father, I’ve lost a friend, I’ve lost a mentor and a senior comrade. Ghana is united in grief at this time for our departed president.

John Dramani Mahama won the 2012 presidential elections in the first round, held on 7 December 2012. John John Dramani Mahama came first with 50.70%, while Nana Akuffo-Addo, flagbearer of the main opposition party, New Patriotic Party, came in second with 47.74%.

On 7th January 2013, John Dramani Mahama was sworn-in as the fourth President of the Fourth republic to begin his first term in office.

*Source GBC

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