Charles Francis Kondo Margai is a Sierra Leonean lawyer and politician. He is the leader of the People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) the third major political party in Sierra Leone.
Charles Francis Kondo Margai was born on August 19, 1945 in the coastal town of Bonthe, Bonthe District in Southern Sierra Leone. Margai hails from one of Sierra Leone's most powerful political dynasty. His father is the late Sir Albert Margai, the second Prime Minister of Sierra Leone.He is also the nephew of Sierra Leone's first Prime Minister, Sir Milton Margai.
Charles Margai attended St. Edward's Primary School in Freetown and then proceeded to the Christ the King College in Bo. He completed his secondary school education at Blackrock College in Co. Dublin, Ireland. Margai received a bachelor of arts in civil law in 1970 from the University of Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.
He is married to Vivat Margai.
Margai was a member of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) which was co-founded in 1951 by his uncle Sir Milton Margai. Both his father and his uncle had been leaders of the SLPP. In 1996 Charles Margai sought the nomination for the party's candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. When he failed to secure the nomination he left the SLPP.
In the aftermath of Margai's failure to become the SLPP presidential candidate, he joined the National Unity Party and ran in the 1996 parliamentary election.
He subsequently returned to the SLPP and in April 1998, Margai became Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Government following the restoration of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah; From November 1999 he was Minister of Safety and Security.
In early October 2005, he broke with the SLPP to form a new party, the People's Movement for Democratic Change. Margai faced difficulty in getting the PMDC officially registered, which he alleged was due to Kabbah deliberately delaying appointments to the Political Parties Commission which would enable the registration, thereby giving Berewa's campaign an advantage in time. The PMDC was officially registered on 19 January 2006.
In the August 2007 presidential election, Margai took third place with 13.9% of the vote, behind Ernest Bai Koroma of the opposition All People's Congress (APC) and the SLPP's Berewa. At his birthday party on 19 August, he said that he was backing the APC's Koroma for the second round of the election. On August 24, he said that the PMDC would campaign together with the APC for the second round. He also said that the PMDC's constitution would not allow him to join a government led by the APC if Koroma wins the election.
With incumbent President Koroma and the opposition Julius Bio confident of their chances of winning in the November 17 elections, the stage is set for what looks to be a closely contested election in the history of Sierra Leone.
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