Accessibility links

Former Sierra Leone Rebels Withdraw from Presidential Election - 2002-04-02

Sierra Leone's former rebel army, now called the Revolutionary United Front Party, has announced it will not field a candidate in the presidential election May 14.

The group said Wednesday it cannot nominate anyone to run in the place of its jailed leader, Foday Sankoh. However, the former Revolutionary United Front rebel group says it will run candidates for parliamentary elections, also scheduled for May 14.

Election officials had declared Mr. Sankoh ineligible to run because he had not registered to vote. Mr. Sankoh is in prison in connection with the killing of 20 protesters outside his home two years ago.

On Tuesday - the deadline for registering candidates for office - the Revolutionary United Front Party asked for a 24 hour extension so it could choose a standard-bearer for the May vote.

Other candidates who registered on Tuesday include incumbent President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, who will be seeking a second five-year term.

The Revolutionary United Front agreed to hand in its weapons and become a political party in an agreement that ended Sierra Leone's 10 year civil war in January.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.