Ghana’s VP Sworn In as President Following John Atta Mills’ Death

Posted July 25th, 2012 at 6:55 am (UTC-5)
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Ghana's vice president will serve out the term of the late leader John Atta Mills, who died suddenly Tuesday.

John Dramani Mahama, who was vice president, took the oath of office hours after officials announced the death of Mr. Mills.

Ghana is scheduled to hold a presidential election in December.

Political analyst Emmanuel Akwetey, executive director of the Institute for Democratic Governance, told VOA that he expects the ruling National Democratic Congress Party to name Mr. Mahama as its candidate. He noted that Mr. Mahama campaigned with the late president and that the time remaining before the vote is short.

He also said the main opposition New Patriotic Party has suspended its campaign to honor Mr. Mills and to help unite the nation.

The president's office said the 68-year-old Mr. Mills died a “sudden and untimely death,” a few hours after falling ill. The nature of his illness was not given.

U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to Mr. Mills, praising his efforts to improve human rights and the lives of his people.

President Mills had led Ghana since January 2009, after narrowly winning the 2008 presidential election. The election was hailed as a rare example of a peaceful transfer of power in Africa.