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Sierra Leone opposition party names runner-up for 2023 presidential vote

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Sierra Leone opposition party names runner-up for 2023 presidential vote

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21st February 2023

By: Reuters

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Sierra Leone's main opposition party has named Samura Kamara, the runner-up in the last presidential election, as its candidate for the next vote in June 2023.

Kamara narrowly lost to then opposition candidate President Julius Maada Bio in 2018.

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His All People's Congress (APC) party elected him to run again in the next presidential election on June 24, in which Maada Bio will seek to win a second term.

"The work has just begun... I appeal to all to bury the hatchet, avoid backbiting and work as a team," Kamara said at a crowded APC party headquarters in the city of Makeni after he won with 85% of votes against 17 other candidates.

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"One of our key objectives is to work together for peace within the party... Nobody is an enemy," he said.

Kamara served as central bank governor, finance minister and foreign affairs minister between 2008 and 2018.

Sierra Leone's anti-corruption commission indicted him on corruption allegations in 2021, when he was foreign minister, along with five other officials.

The six are charged with various counts of corruption involving $4.2-million meant for the renovation of Sierra Leone's chancery building in Manhattan.

Kamara himself is charged with two counts including misappropriation of public funds amounting to $2 560 000 meant for the chancery building's reconstruction.

The trial is ongoing and he has denied wrongdoing.

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