In Sierra Leone, the second round of the presidential election initially scheduled for Tuesday, March 27th finally takes place this Saturday, March 31st. A second round that looks very undecided between the candidate of power, Samura Kamara, a man of outgoing president Ernest Bai Koroma, and the opposition, former General Julius Maada Bio, who came first in the first round with a very little advance.
Julius Maada Bio can boast of having topped the first round of the election with 43.3% of the vote. Nothing is yet done for this former soldier who briefly exercised power 22 years ago following a coup d’etat.
PPSL opposition candidate, the People’s Party of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio embarked on politics in 2005. Unhappy rival in the 2012 ballot, facing outgoing president Ernest Bai Koroma, a 53-year-old Catholic the Mende ethnic group is known for its outspokenness and criticism of corruption.
Not enough to give him a big lead against his rival Samura Kamara. Colt of the APC, the All People Congress, this 66-year-old economist who has been in power circles for nearly 30 years, came in second with 42.7% of the vote.
Passed by the Commonwealth, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Samura Kamara presents himself on his official campaign website as a “reformer” and champion of economic growth. His opponents call him “Sir 10%” referring to the commissions he would have pocketed in public contracting.
To hope to win this Saturday, Samura Kamara will have to rely on the traditional base of the party and the weight of the outgoing president who after the disappointing score of the first round, is one of the few to support it openly.