Sierra Leone Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana Sacked

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The Vice-President of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana has been sacked for seeking political asylum in a foreign embassy, the president’s office has said. BBC reports:

President Ernest Bai Koroma had dismissed him because he had “abandoned” his duties, it added. On Saturday, Mr Sam-Sumana said he had asked for asylum in the US because his life was in danger. It is unclear whether the constitution gives the president the power to dismiss his deputy.

The BBC’s Umaru Fofana in the capital, Freetown, says there is no doubt that Mr Koroma’s decision is controversial. Some people believe that the vice-president can be removed only through a parliamentary impeachment, but Mr Koroma said he had the “constitutional authority” to dismiss him.

The governing All People’s Congress had earlier expelled Mr Sam-Sumana after accusing him of fuelling violence, and trying to form a breakaway party in his home district of Kono. He denied the allegations.

The dispute between Mr Koroma and Mr Sam-Sumana has raised fears about the future stability of Sierra Leone. The West African state has been badly affected by the Ebola outbreak in the region, and is still battling to recover from a civil war which ended in 2002.

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