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Vol 50 No 9

Published 1st May 2009

Sierra Leone

Ernest's election

After seeing off his rivals in the APC, President Koroma has to find some employment for the restless youth

Against a background of heightening inter-party violence, President Ernest Bai Koroma has been re-elected leader of the governing All People's Congress at the party's national conference in Makeni on 18 April. Although far from universally popular within the APC, Koroma has been able to consolidate his party base. His backers persuaded the party to defer the leadership contest until 2013 in Kono, a year after the next general elections in which Koroma is expected to stand again for the presidency. Koroma, an accountant and businessman, is good at glad-handing investors and foreign visitors such as Irish rock star campaigner Bob Geldof (AC Vol 50 No 4) and his friend, British former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who jetted into Freetown on 28 April with a package of proposals to promote tourism. Today, Koroma wants to return to the party's origins before the rot sets in. It was his claim that the APC represented the common man - as opposed to the more elitist Sierra Leone People's Party - which helped it win the closely fought 2007 elections after two rounds of voting.

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