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General News of Monday, 26 January 1998

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Former president Hilla Limann who died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital was born at Gwollu in the Upper Region in 1934.

Dr. Limann, a Career Diplomat, was born to Mr.. Limann, and Madam Hayaba. He had his elementary education at Lawra Confederacy Native Authority Primary Boarding School from 1941 to 1945 and Tamale Middle Boarding school from 1946 - 1949.

Having obtained the standard seven leaving certificate, he taught for one year as a pupil teacher at Tumu. Dr. Limann entered the government teacher training college at Tamale and passed out with the Teachers certificate "B". At the college, he took part in local and district council politics. He was the local and district councillor for the Sissala District Council from 1952 to 1955 and was the council Chairman for two years (1953 -55).

Dr. Limann studied at the London School of Economics from where he obtained his B.Sc. Economics. He also studied at Sorbonne University - Cours De La Langue Et De La Civilisation Francaise (School of French Language and Civilisation) and obtained a Higher Diploma in 1962.

From 1962 - 65, he studied at Faculte De Droit Et De Sciences Economiques (Faculty of Law and Economics) at Paris, France, and obtained a doctorate et Science politique et de droit constitutionnel (Doctorate in political science and constitutional law) in 1965.

From 1965 until January 1979, Dr.. Limann was foreign officer. He was head of chancellery at the Ghana Embassy in Lome from 1969 - 71. From 1971 to 1975 he was counsellor for the Ghana permanent mission in Geneva.

Dr. Limann was elected the presidential candidate of the People's National Party (PNP), the successor of the CPP, for the 1979b elections.

He polled 631,559 votes (35.32 percent) in the June 18 elections to beat nine other candidates. He went into a run-off with Mr.. Victor Owusu, the Popular Front Party (PFP) candidate who had 533,928 (29.86 percent) of the votes.

During the second round in July 1979, Dr. Limann convincingly beat Mr.. Owusu to be elected president of the third republic. He was sworn into office on September 24, 1979, and took over from Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

He was plagued by internal squabbles in the party leading to his overthrown by Flt. Lt. Rawlings on December 31, 1981. Dr. Limann formed the People's National Convention (PNC) to contest the 1992 elections when the ban on political activities was lifted. He came a distant third to President Rawlings of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Professor Albert Adu Boahen of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Dr. Limann surprised many people when he stepped down for Dr. Edward Mahama as the presidential candidate of the party during the 1996 polls. He was in and out of hospital for heart ailment of over the past couple of years. Dr. Limann is survived by a wife, Fulera, and six children - Sibi, Sammoi, Hagommie, Leda, Danni-Hasi, Habuguwie.