Sierra Leone : Opposition’s Julius Maada Bio wins presidency

Opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio won a narrow victory in a run-off election to become Sierra Leone’s next president, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced on Wednesday (April 4).
Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) won 51.81 percent of votes cast in the March 31 poll, defeating former foreign affairs minister and ruling All People’s Congress (APC) candidate Samura Kamara, who garnered 48.19 percent.

How did Maada Bio come to power before?

Mr Maada Bio, now 53, was part of a group of soldiers who overthrew the government in 1992 when he was in his late 20s.

Then, in January 1996, he staged a palace coup, arguing that his boss, Capt Valentine Strasser, wanted to renege on the promised handover to an elected civilian government.

His supporters point to that to call him the “father of democracy”.

But his critics cite human rights violations witnessed while he was in power, for which he has taken “collective responsibility”.

During his rule, which lasted just over two months, he appointed Mr Kamara as his finance minister.

By Africafrique and agencies

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