Sunday 18 March 2018

Sierra Leone ruling party names foreign minister as presidential candidate

Sierra Leone ruling party names foreign minister as presidential candidate
(APA 10/16/17)
Foreign Minister Dr Samura Mathew Kamara

APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone) - Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has named his Foreign Minister Dr Samura Mathew Kamara as presidential candidate in next year’s general elections.

Kamara was announced at the All People’s Congress (APC) convention in the northern town of Makeni on Sunday.

His running mate is Cherno Maju Bah, current speaker of Parliament. Over 20 people were contesting the party’s ticket, including current Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh and Attorney General and Minister of Justice Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara.

Samura Kamara was hardly considered a serious contender among the lots in a race that has left political analysts guessing for so long. The APC is seeking to retain power after nearly 10 years in office. It faces a tough challenge from the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

Dr Samura Kamara is a highly respected economist who has been in the Ernest Bai Koroma government since 2007, first serving in the ministerial position of Finance before been redeployed to the Foreign Ministry after the 2012 elections.

The vice Presidential running mate, Cherno Bah, will be one of the youngest occupants of that office if his party is elected. Bah is a lawyer.

The race for the party’s flag bearer position had been tough, with occasion signs of tension fueled by regional considerations.

On the eve of the election of the flag bearer, Preside t Koroma, in a strongly worded statement, warned against anyone opposing his decision for the position. That has been seen as a sign of serious division within the party.

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