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Africa
Sierra Leone holds election run-off
Voters in Sierra Leone are to choose a new leader amid electoral violence.
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2007 10:41 GMT
The candidates promise to rebuild the country
after a 10-year war  [AFP]
Polls in Sierra Leone have opened as the public vote for a new president, after an inconclusive first round last month.

This is the first chance for residents to select a new leader since UN peacekeepers withdrew from the country two years ago, and after a decade of war that ended in 2002.
The elections take place on Saturday, amid a campaign where political rivals had clashed, leaving dozens injured.

Ernest Bai Koroma, the opposition leader, is running against Solomon Berewa, the vice president, who is to take over from Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, the current president.
During the first round in August, both candidates did not achieve the 55 per cent needed to win.

Koroma had won 44 per cent of the vote, compared to 38 per cent for Berewa.

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"I hope the people of Sierra Leone can have this election without violence. All that is needed is one act of violence to spark another civil war."

Tom Dougherty, Atlanta, USA

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Trailing third was Charles Francis Margai, a lawyer and former minister, with 14 per cent. 

A majority is needed by either party to win on Saturday's elections.

Kabbah was prevented by law from running for a third five-year term.

However, Margai's party broke away from the governing coalition and is backing Koroma.

The All People's Congress party, led by Koroma, had already won a majority in the 112-seat parliament, taking 59 seats, compared with the Sierra Leone People's [arty, led by Berewa, which had won 43 seats.

Both candidates have promised to crack down on corruption and unemployment, especially among local youths, who include ex-fighters and former child soldiers.
Source:
Agencies
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