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Saturday, September 08, 2007

SIERRA LEONE: Second Rounds, May Be A Charm.

Voters in Sierra Leone are choosing a president Saturday in a run-off election.

In the first round of voting last month in the West African nation, opposition leader Ernest Koroma led Vice President Solomon Berewa 44 to 38 percent, but fell short of the 55 percent needed to avoid the run-off.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed for a peaceful election. A statement by Mr. Ban said he is deeply concerned about reports of intimidation and violence involving supporters of Sierra Leone's two main political parties.

Supporters of the two candidates have clashed in several districts in the last two weeks.

The two candidates had agreed to take part in a peace march Friday as a symbol of unity, but neither candidate appeared.

Koroma said he boycotted the rally because of what he called violent attacks against his party. He said the ruling People's Party has not done enough to stop the violence.

The first round of voting on August 11 passed peacefully and was deemed free and fair by international observers.

***VOA

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