Olufemi Claudius-Cole behind in Sierra Leone presidential polls

Madam Femi Claudius-Cole after casting her vote in the Sierra Leone general election

Olufemi Claudius-Cole, the only female presidential candidate in the ongoing Sierra Leone elections is behind after early results were released.

Claudius-Cole’s Unity Party, UP, have garnered only 1,643 votes, presently last in the polls.

The National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone released the results of 7 March general election with All Peoples Congress (APC), and Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) leading other parties.

The Chairman of NEC, Mr Mohammed Conteh, declared the “progressive” result at the commission’s headquarters in Freetown on Saturday.

But Cladius-Cole’s party that was registered in late 2017 has trailed in the polls despite its vigorous campaign to improve the healthcare system and education.

Olufemi Claudius Cole was born in 1962 to Claudius Cole, a medical doctor.

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She was a nurse for more than 20 years and was chief matron of the West End Clinic in Freetown.

Having worked as a nurse in Sierra Leone and abroad Cole was shocked by the differences in medical care and education between comparable countries.

In particular she dislikes the disparity in services available to the rich and poor and the high rate of deaths from preventable or treatable illnesses.

She is also disappointed in the high maternal death rate.

Cole considered joining a political party in 2013, but could not find one that she agreed with.

In 2016 she decided to found her own party – the Unity Party.

Cole had to wait until October 2017 before the party was registered but began campaigning ahead of that.

The party’s main focus is education and health but Cole also wants to create new jobs and improve trade links.

Cole and her campaign team offered free health checks for “vulnerable people”, in conjunction with the West End Clinic.

The party has offices in Bo, Kenema, and Makeni.

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