What's at stake in Saturday's elections?

From Global development | The Guardian Thu Nov 15 2012, 07:40:56

As Sierra Leone prepares for its third postwar presidential and parliamentary elections, what is at stake for the country?

On Saturday, Sierra Leone will hold its third presidential, parliamentary and local elections since civil war ended a decade ago. The outcome is expected to hinge on a close-fought contest between the ruling All People's Congress (APC), for whom President Ernest Bai Koroma is seeking a second term, and the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), led by Julius Maada Bio.

What's at stake?

A decade of postwar peacebuilding and development. Sierra Leone has made huge strides over the past decade, but major challenges remain. Once styled "the Athens of west Africa", it is now one of the world's poorest states, ranking 180th of the 187 countries in the UN's human development index. According to the UN, more than 70% of the population still lives on less than $1.25 a day, while rural poverty was recently estimated at 78% (pdf). A cholera outbreak this year claimed at least 259 lives (pdf), highlighting the shortcomings of a health system that has the world's 12th-highest infant mortality rate and in which [view whole blog post ]

News Stories Quoted in this Blog Post:

Liberia:   Accuses Embassy in Nation, Guinea of Cross Border Voter's Registration (news)
The Informer
23 March 2012

The Sierra Leonean opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) party has accused officials of the country's embassies in Guinea and Liberia of ferrying voters from their respective station countries ... [read more]

Sierra Leone:   NDA Out of Nov. Polls (news)
Concord Times
11 October 2012

Embattled National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will not field a presidential candidate for the November 17 elections as the party missed out on the National Electoral Commission (NEC) deadline for all ... [read more]

Sierra Leone:   The Apc Manifesto 2012 - Transformation for National Prosperity (press release)
Government of Sierra Leone
22 October 2012

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