Dr. Samura Kamara running mate is Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah, the current speaker of the Sierra Leone’s Parliament. Over 20 people were contesting the party’s ticket, including current Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh and Attorney General, Minister of Mines Minkailu Mansaray and Minister of Justice Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara.
The pronunciation of Samura Kamara shocked many Sierra Leoneans as he was hardly considered a serious contender among the lots in a race that has left political analysts guessing for so long. The APC is seeking to retain power after nearly 10 years in office. It faces a tough challenge from the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).
Dr Samura Kamara is a highly respected economist who has been in the Ernest Bai Koroma government since 2007, first serving in the ministerial position of Finance before been redeployed to the Foreign Ministry after the 2012 elections.
The vice Presidential running mate, Chernor Bah, will be one of the youngest occupants of that office if his party is elected. Bah is a lawyer.
The race for the party’s flag bearer position had been tough, with occasion signs of tension fueled by regional considerations.
On the eve of the election of the flag bearer, President Koroma, in a strongly worded statement, warned against anyone opposing his decision for the position. That has been seen as a sign of serious division within the party.
As Sierra Leone is schedule to go to the polls on March 7,2018. There are over 10 registered political parties with about half a dozen new ones lining up to join the race.
Bio in his acceptance speech at the Catco Hotel in the west end of Freetown, Bio called on President Ernest Bai Koroma to respect the constitution of the country and support the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to conduct free and fair polls.
He out rightly condemned the attacks that has been raining down on the electoral body over the last few weeks in relations to the ongoing preparations for the March polls.
Some APC supporters have accused the NEC boss, N’fa Allie Conteh of being bias. The concerns were sparked by the way the Commission handled the voter registration process, which didn’t go down well with APC supporters.
This will be the second time Bio will be giving his short at the presidency. He lost to President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2012. The SLPP went to the Supreme Court to challenge the outcome of that election.
The former junta leader urged President Koroma to protect his legacy by ensuring a free electoral process and called on the NEC to stand its ground.
“I want to remind the Commission that they have a constitutional mandate to conduct free, fair and credible election, which is a precondition for sustained peace and stability,” Bio said.
While the APC has named a presidential running mate in the person of the current deputy Speaker of Parliament, SLPP says it is consulting with relevant authorities within the party to come up with a consensus candidate.
According to Dr. Prince Harding, Chairman and Leader of the party, the decision rests in the hands of the flag bearer and the National Executive Committee of the party.
Harding was reported on Monday of warning the party’s faithful against “imposing” the running mate on the flag bearer.
The SLPP and APC have dominated politics and governance in Sierra Leone since independence in 1963. And the two parties are seen as divided in terms of their support base along the ethno-regional lines of North-west and South-east. The SLPP has its strongest support in the South-east, while the APC enjoys greater support in the North-west.
The SLPP has been advised to select a running mate from the north in order to increase its chances of success in the polls.
The March 7,2018 Race to the Sierra Leone’s State House is going to be contested by two academic doctors that once served a junta administration – the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) in different capacities.
Bio was Chief Secretary of State (Prime Minister) and later Head of State, Dr Samura Kamara was a civil servant serving as the Financial Secretary in the Finance Ministry to support his Minister, Dr. John Karimu (the NPRC Finance Minister) who work very hard together to stabilize the Sierra Leone Economy even though the nation was at war.