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Last Updated: Friday, 4 August 2006, 08:39 GMT 09:39 UK
Sierra Leone sets 2007 poll date
President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
President Kabbah will not be standing in next year's election
Sierra Leone has announced elections for July 2007, the first since United Nations peacekeepers left in 2005.

President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah appealed to Sierra Leoneans to see the elections "not as warfare between warlords but as a friendly contest".

Correspondents say the polls will be a test of whether Sierra Leone is on the road to full recovery from the brutal 10-year civil war, which ended in 2002.

President Kabbah will not be eligible for re-election.

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In a broadcast to the nation, the president said he had decided to name the date of 28 July nearly a year in advance as a demonstration of his government's commitment to good governance and democracy.

President Kabbah and his Sierra Leone People's Party secured a landslide victory in the May 2002 elections, held with UN peacekeepers still in the country.

Peacekeepers were deployed in 2000 to enforce a ceasefire between the government and the Revolutionary United Front rebel group, but it was only in 2001 that the UN force managed to secure formerly rebel-held areas.




SEE ALSO
Country profile: Sierra Leone
25 May 06 |  Country profiles
Who should set election dates?
04 Aug 06 |  Africa

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