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Sierra Leone Election Run Up - 2002-04-30

In Sierra Leone, the vice-presidential candidate for the leading opposition party, the All People’s Congress, APC, has been disqualified.

The National Electoral Commission, NEC, is alleging fraud in the registration process for Al Haji Abubakarr Jallo, saying he was not in the country at the time of registration and that his name appeared on parliamentary lists in two separate areas. The penalties for the violations include fines and a possible jail term.

A spokesman for the All People’s Congress says their attorney is looking into the matter. But he says if the NEC had any objections, it should have submitted them to the Supreme Court within one week of the candidate’s name being filed. The APC may name a new vice-presidential candidate.

The All People’s Congress ruled Sierra Leone for twenty years before being overthrown by the military in 1992. At present, the APC poses the biggest challenge to the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party.

English to Africa reporter Kelvin Lewis files the story from Freetown.