Sierra Leone: Ruling Party Names Kamara as Presidential Flagbearer

Samura Kamara

Sierra Leone’s ruling party, All People’s Congress, has chosen Foreign Affairs Minister Samura Kamara as its candidate for next year’s presidential polls to succeed President Ernest Bai Koroma.

The choice of Kamara as President Koroma’s preferred successor was made at a party convention that was broadcast live on state-owned radio from Makeni, northeast of the capital, Freetown. Koroma is due to step down after more than 10 years in power and both men hail from Bombali, a district in the north of the country.

The main opposition, Sierra Leone People’s Party, elected Julius Maada Bio as its candidate for the March polls. It will be the second time that Maada Bio competes for president after receiving 38 percent of ballots cast against Koroma in 2012.

Sierra Leone is preparing for elections as it recovers from the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2014 and 2015. Gross domestic product in the country of about 7.4 million people expanded at 6.1 percent in 2016, from a contraction of 20.5 percent in 2015, according to World Bank data.