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Situation Report: In the eye of a cyclone: Sierra Leone's 2007 elections, David Zounmenou
3 August 2007

On 11 August 2007, the voters of Sierra Leone will go to the polls to elect a new president, in the second major elections since the country emerged from eleven years of catastrophic war. Post-conflict Sierra Leone was socially broken, economically devastated and politically fractured. The presidential and parliamentary elections of May 2002 ushered in a new socio-economic and political order expected to create conditions conducive to the eradication of the main causes that had led to instability and war: endemic corruption, widespread poverty, the absence of socio-economic opportunities for the youth, and systematic political repression.

Under the leadership of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, and with massive assistance from development partners, particularly the United Kingdom, Sierra Leone has experienced five years of relative political stability and has initiated a series of reconstruction projects. Healing the scars of war, however, effectively addressing social and economic inequalities among citizens and establishing a vibrant democracy remain challenges for the country`s political elite.

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