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Issues in Sierra Leone’s March 7 polls


Fruitful outcome will boost peace-building in Mano River area

By Nsikan Ikpe


As the people of Sierra Leone head to the polls, March 7, for critical General Elections that will also see to the end of the President Ernest Bai Koroma years, analysts are already beginning to look at the issues being raised by the process.

The first of these issues is whether the ruling All People’s Congress, APC which has already given its ticket to Foreign Affairs Minister, Samura Kamara will be able to win again.

If he fails, the bets are looking like the polls would be going the way of either the SLPP candidate, Julius Maada Bio or former Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana.

Analysts also say that a fruitful outcome would boost peace-building in the broader Mano River area, which saw another member of the union, Liberia scale through a most decisive succession poll in December. Already, the NGO, the West African Network for Peace-Building, WANEP is presently urging parties to eschew violence even as they prepare for the very decisive polls. In addition, analysts are asking that the emergent leader would need to see it as an urgent priority to work with Liberia’s incoming President and President Alpha Conde of Guinea in exploring more cooperation opportunities in the Mano River Union.

Sierra Leone was one of the worst affected nations in the Ebola outbreak that ravaged West Africa a few years ago. It also suffered from very devastating flooding last year and is equally one of the the poorest nations on earth, with some 80 percent of the population being adjudged as poor. The economy, the economy and the economy would therefore be very crucial issues in the polls.

Outgoing President Koroma, an insurance practitioner, had defeated former Vice President, Solomon Berewa in 2007 to emerge as President. He was re-elected in 2012.



APC candidate, Samura Kamara


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