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Sierra Leoneans have been voting in crucial presidential and parliamentary elections

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Sierra Leoneans have been voting in crucial presidential and parliamentary elections

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In the presidential race the country’s vice president Solomon Berewa of the Peoples Party is facing a strong challenge from the opposition All Peoples Congress candidate Ernest Bai Koroma. The people are being asked to vote for a new president and 112 parliamentarians. The election is also seen as a test of the country`s recovery from a civil war that lasted from 1991 until 2002. About two point six million of the nation`s population of five million are registered to vote. Sierra Leoneans lined up at polling stations Saturday to vote in the African country`s first elections since U.N peacekeeperes left two years ago. They’re also being seen as a test whether the country can transfer power peacefully after years of conflict and the civil war. Tens of thousands of civilians died during the country`s long war. Sierra Leone is one of the poorest nations in the world despite the country`s rich diamond mines. It is struggling to re-build after the devastation of caused by the conflict there.