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Sierra Leone president eyes new term amid mining boom
Opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio waves to supporters as his campaign convoy drives through the Kissy neighborhood, en route to his final campaign rally in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Nov. 15.Rebecca Blackwell / AP
TILORMA, Sierra Leone (Reuters) — When the European Union's chief election observer Richard Howitt asked people in this remote village last month if they had concerns about Sierra Leone's looming presidential poll, he got a sobering response: what is voting?
The question from one of the villagers in the gold and diamond mining district of Kenema underscored the challenges facing this West African country ahead of Saturday's elections, which will become the latest test of democracy in a region notorious for flawed polls, civil wars, and coups.
Incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma, a former insurance executive who came to power in 2007 in elections generally considered free and fair, will face off against former junta leader Julius Maada Bio. Full story…