Rawlings leaves armed forces

ACCRA (AFP) - Ghana's head of state, Jerry Rawlings, has retired from the armed forces. The move confirms that he will contest elections in November. An official statement broadcast on Thursday night by Radio Ghana said the retirement took effect from 14 September.

The 45-year-old former flight lieutenant will, however, remain Comander-in-Chief of the armed forces in his capacity as the head of state.

Mr Rawlings is to be the candidate of the pro-government National Democratic Congress in the upcoming elections.

The West African country's electoral laws and constitution require several categories of public servants, including members of the armed forces, to resign from their posts if they want to contest elections.