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    Sierra Leone-New Year Message

    Sierra Leone: Koroma in last New Year message thanks compatriots

    APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone)

    Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma on Monday used his last New Year message as president to thank Sierra Leoneans for the opportunity to serve them.

    Koroma sounded a conciliatory tone, as an outgoing leader, in the televised statement which highlighted his achievements since 2007 when he was first elected into office.

    It listed among them strengthening of the country’s economy, and embarking on infrastructural development, among others.

    Koroma also singled out for mention and recognition the civil society and media in Sierra Leone, considered as his major critics and with whom he had a difficult relationship as they had put his government on its toes.

    However, for many it was his comments concerning this year’s elections in Sierra Leone that stands out. Sierra Leone goes to the polls on March 7, 2018 and Koroma is barred from contesting by the constitution, after having served two five-year terms.

    His ruling party, the All People's Congress (APC) faces a strong challenge from an ever determined opposition, and the chances of the APC will be largely determined by his record.

    Koroma in his speech said: “At this moment in particular, our thoughts are focused on March 7th 2018. Elections everywhere present a great test of a nation’s ability to continue to stay together. While some have passed this test, others have had to resort to unrest that rips them apart.

    “For us in Sierra Leone, we started passing this test when we voted in 1996 against the threat of the barrel of the gun and machetes. We succeeded in restoring democracy. Subsequent elections right on to 2012 have been acclaimed by the international community.

    “Steadily, we have secured for ourselves great democratic credentials; and to countries the world over, we are a brilliant example of peace and democracy."


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