S.Leone ruling party candidate claims 'president's legacy'

President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma waves to supporters of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) party during a rally ahead of the March 7 presidential election in Makeni, Sierra Leone March 5, 2018. Photo: Reuters

MAKENI, Sierra Leone - The ruling party candidate seeking to succeed President Ernest Bai Koroma as Sierra Leone's president claimed Monday he was his boss's "biggest legacy" to the country as election campaigning wrapped up.

The ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) held a rally attended by thousands in the northern city of Makeni while the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) gathered crowds in its southern stronghold of Bo ahead of Wednesday's general election.

APC candidate Samura Kamara told AFP he was the one to carry on Koroma's work after 10 years in power -- through the president has tried to distance himself from accusations his former foreign minister was a personal choice rather than a party decision.

"I am his biggest legacy. I need to sustain what he has achieved... and build on it," Kamara said.

He promised to focus on infrastructure, agriculture and education if he is elected to lead the small West African nation.

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.

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.

The APC faces competition from the SLPP but also from the upstart National Grand Coalition (NGC), headed by former UN diplomat Kandeh Yumkella.

More than 3.1 million are registered to vote on Wednesday.

AFP

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