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More than 3.1 million registered voters in Sierra Leone on Wednesday are to hit the polling stations across the country to elect a new president.

The Mission heads with Candidate of the main opposition party, Sierra Leonean Peoples Party (SLPP) Brig.

Still, whoever gains the presidency today will inherit a hard position.

They further urged them to uphold their commitments under the "Freetown Declaration", which was signed by presidential candidates on 28 February.

Immediately on the agenda will be addressing International Monetary Fund concerns, which last month delayed a $224 million payout to the country in response to taxation anomalies.

"I just want to have change in our community and government", he told AFP.

Sierra Leone's economy is in a poor state following the twin shocks of the 2014-16 Ebola crisis and a drop in commodity prices on its highly export-dependent economy. "I need to sustain what he has achieved... and build on it", Kamara said. Gen Julius Maada Bio (rtd), noted that the presence of Jonathan and other "former African Presidents in Sierra Leone was an indication that democracy is on the rise on the continent".

The APC broadly relies on the Temne and Limba people in its northern strongholds, while the SLPP is more popular in the south with the Mende ethnic group.

"They have huge resources compared to us but we have connected to the people better", Spencer added.

Before the deployment of observers, in line with its mandate to support member States holding elections, ECOWAS has also provided financial support after undertaking a pre-election fact-finding mission to Sierra Leone, and led a Joint ECOWAS/AU/UN High-Level Mission with the objective of ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page for credible elections and peaceful transfer of political power in the country.

The Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), a Freetown-based think tank, said in a report that voters were showing a "growing willingness... to consider policy proposals over ethnic considerations".

"These elections should be seen in the wider and broader context of advancing peace and stability in Sierra Leone and the ECOWAS region", the Head of Mission said in Freetown on Saturday 3rd March after a meeting with the leadership of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), part of his continuing engagement with stakeholders ahead of the elections. The police had also banned the use of cars on election day to properly maintain security.

Kamara has also earned the nickname "Mr 10 percent" from critics who accuse him of skimming money off government contracts, amid wider corruption allegations against his party.


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