The stakes couldn’t be higher. The people of Sierra Leone will be heading to the polls on the 17th of November to choose their leader in a presidential election that has all the makings of a hollywood thriller. The incumbent, President Ernest Bai Koroma of the APC party, has bagged an outstanding record as Head of State for the past 5 years and has demonstrated prudent leadership by pushing the economy to world record heights as the fastest growing one in Africa with a 38% growth rate. Koroma has succeeded in courting major investors and has turned the country’s political and economic circumstances around in a very short period of time, a record that will be difficult to emulate within African standards.
Infrastructural investment has been the highlight of the Koroma leadership as road construction has taken an unprecedented priority as the President recognises the importance of networking the rural agro-based and industrial areas to the urban areas to facilitate trade and investment.
The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has as its aspirant for the presidency a former military dictator under whose tenure the country witnessed summary executions and arbitrary arrests of some of the nation’s finest public servants. Julius Maada Bio has been accused among other things, of selling the country’s passports to corrupt foreign businessmen and also of stealing public funds. The party itself doesn’t have a pleasant record in power, after top officials where accused of siphoning public funds and mismanaging the country’s economy. They have a difficult task in their hands of convincing the electorate for another shot at power.
Sierra Leoneans may be reluctant to change the current leadership as they have seen visible changes that were denied them by the previous SLPP regime, and to move from certainty to an uncertain future is not something most of the electorate would want to gamble on, especially when there is still fresh memories of the untold misery they suffered at the hands of the current opposition SLPP when in government.
Newstime Africa in association with Cocorioko Newspaper, Sierra Leone’s top online newspaper, have decided to conduct a poll asking Sierra Leoneans who they prefer as their next president:
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