Ghana swears in new president, hours after leader’s death
Officials in Ghana swore in a new president on Tuesday, hours after the death of the West African nation’s leader. John Evans Atta Mills died unexpectedly at a military hospital on Tuesday afternoon a few hours after he became ill, according to a statement from Chief of Staff John Henry Martey Newman. Mills was 68.
In a ceremony broadcast on state television, John Dramani Mahama, Ghana’s former vice president, became the country’s new president and ordered that flags be flown at half-staff for a week. “This is the saddest day in our nation’s history. Tears have engulfed our nation and we’re deeply saddened and distraught. I never imagined that one day I will address our nation in such difficult circumstances,” said new president Mahama. “I’m personally devastated. I’ve lost a father, I’ve lost a friend, I’ve lost a mentor and a senior comrade.” The president’s cause of death has not been specified. Mills reportedly denied rumors about his health for months. Mills, the “prince of peace,” narrowly won the presidency in 2009, but said he would run for re-election in December.