Posted On March 13, 2018 By In None With 11 Views

Sierra Leone presidential election: the candidates

Freetown, March 13, 2018 (AFP)

Sierra Leone elects a new president in a March 27 run-off to replace Ernest Bai Koroma, who is stepping down after two terms.
Here are the two men vying to replace him:
Samura Kamara: All Peoples Congress (APC)
Kamara, a career politician and economist by training, is outgoing president Ernest Bai Koroma’s hand-picked successor.
He served as the country’s foreign minister until last year when he stepped down to pursue his bid for the presidency under the flag of the ruling party.
During a presidential debate held on February 15, Kamara, 66, offered a political vision that adheres closely to the APC’s platform for the last decade.
He has told voters the party “will do more in the areas of roads, electricity, health and education,” and Koroma has campaigned by his side.
Lansana Gberie, a political analyst and author, said Kamara was “the favourite bureaucrat for army rulers and politicians.”
His lack of visibility — “very few people knew him until President Koroma tapped him as his successor,” said Gberie — means he is relying heavily on his long association with the APC and Koroma to get elected.
Julius Maada Bio: Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP)
Bio, 53, who briefly led a junta government in 1996, is running for a second time after losing to Koroma in 2012.
He has apologised for the conduct of troops who executed more than 20 people after a coup he joined as a young soldier in 1992, and has successfully rehabilitated his image.
The retired brigadier spent time studying in the United States and is known for his outspokenness, calling Chinese infrastructural projects “a sham with no economic and development benefits to the people”.
After Bio hit out at corruption on the campaign trail, Kamara accused the SLPP candidate of stealing $18 million during his three months in power, though his APC opponent faces corruption allegations of his own.

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