Sierra Leone confirms candidacy of president, opposition leader

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By Webdesk

President Julius Maada Bio and opposition leader Samura Kamara also contested the 2018 elections.

Sierra Leone’s Electoral Commission (ECSL) has approved President Julius Maada Bio’s candidacy for June’s general election as he seeks a second term in office.

The ECSL on Tuesday also endorsed main opposition party nominee Samura Kamara, the runner-up in the last presidential election in 2018. He lost to Bio, a former military ruler who had lost a presidential bid four years earlier.

Bio is being run after a first term marred by economic hardship and rampant inflation in a country still recovering from the 2014 Ebola outbreak before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Frustration over financial problems and a perceived failure of the government to cushion the impact of rising prices led to rare anti-government protests in August last year, leaving dozens dead.

Kamara, 72, said the West African country had “systemic challenges”.

“Sierra Leone still can’t feed itself, we can’t light up the land. We cannot have sustainable progressive economic development, economic growth, no serious infrastructure,” he told the press earlier this week.

Bio, 58, said he intended to continue his efforts to improve access to public education, which he made free at primary and secondary schools during his first term, and to boost agricultural production to improve food security. improve.

Voters in June also elect MPs, mayors and city councillors. This election will be the fifth since Sierra Leone’s brutal 10-year civil war ended in 2002.

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