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The 2nd Rawlings Coup

The administration of Hilla Limann, inaugurated on September 24, 1979, at the beginning of the Third Republic, was expected to measure up to the new standard advocated by the AFRC. Limann's People's National Party (PNP) began the Third Republic with control of only seventy-one of the 140 legislative seats. The opposition Popular Front Party (PFP) won forty-two seats, while twenty-six elective positions were distributed among three lesser parties. The percentage of the electorate that voted had fallen to 40 percent.

Unlike the country's previous elected leaders, Limann was a former diplomat and a noncharismatic figure with no personal following. As Limann himself observed, the ruling PNP included people of conflicting ideological orientations. They sometimes disagreed strongly among themselves on national policies. Many observers, therefore, wondered whether the new government was equal to the task confronting the state.

The most immediate threat to the Limann administration, however, was the AFRC, especially those officers who organized themselves into the 'June 4 Movement" to monitor the civilian administration. In an effort to keep the AFRC from looking over its shoulder, the government ordered Rawlings and several other army and police officers associated with the AFRC into retirement; nevertheless, Rawlings and his associates remained a latent threat, particularly as the economy continued its decline.

The first Limann budget, for fiscal year (FY) 1981, estimated the Ghanaian inflation rate at 70 percent for that year, with a budget deficit equal to 30 percent of the gross national product (GNP). The Trade Union Congress claimed that its workers were no longer earning enough to pay for food, much less anything else. A rash of strikes, many considered illegal by the government, resulted, each one lowering productivity and therefore national income.

In September the government announced that all striking public workers would be dismissed. These factors rapidly eroded the limited support the Limann government enjoyed among civilians and soldiers. The government fell on December 31, 1981, in another Rawlings-led coup.





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Page last modified: 15-03-2017 18:21:40 ZULU