Sierra Leone Polls - Run-Off Declared As Opposition Candidate, Maada Bio, Wins First Round

Supporters of the ruling All Congress Party ride a truck during a rally in Port Loko, Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's National Electoral Commission (NEC) has announced March 27 for run-off in the country's presidential election as no candidate scored mandatory 55 per cent votes in the March 7 election.

Chairman of the commission, Mohamed Conteh, declared the run-off while announcing the 100 per cent result of the election on Tuesday in Freetown.

He said opposition candidate, Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone's Peoples Party (SLPP) led the final result with 1,097, 482 votes, making 43.3 per cent of the 2, 537,122 valid votes cast in the polls.

Samura Kamara of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) came a close second with 1,082, 748 votes, representing 42.7 per cent of the total votes cast.

Other results, according to Mr. Conteh, are Kolle Yemkulla of National Grand Coalition (NGC), 174,014 votes; Kamaraimba Mansaray, Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), 26,704 votes and Musa Tarawally, Citizens' Democratic Party (CDP), 11,493 votes.

Similarly, he declared that Samuel Sam-Sumana of Coalition for Change (C4C) polled 87,720 votes; Chernoh Bah, National Democratic Alliance (NDA), 8,344 votes and John O'Dwyer, National Progressives Democrats (NPD), 34, 239 votes.

"Patrick Sandy, National Unity and Reconciliation Party (NURP) polled 2,318 votes; Baba Conteh, Peace and Liberation Party (PLP), 4, 233 votes; Francis Margai, Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), 9,864 votes.

"Also, Victor Williams of Republic National Independent Party (RNIP) scored 2,555 votes; Jemba Ngobeh, Revolution United Front Party (RUFP), 12, 827 votes; Mohamed Sowa-Turay, United Democratic Movement, 5,695 votes.

"Henry Kabuta, United National Peoples Party (UNPP), got 3, 825 votes and Olufemi Claudius-Cole of Unity Party (UP), scored 3, 825 votes," he added.

The chairman therefore declared that since none of the candidates received 55 per cent of the valid vote cast "pursuant to section 43(2) (e) and (f) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991, there will be a second election (run-off).

"The election will be exclusively between the APC presidential candidate, Dr Samuar Kamara and the SLPP candidate, Julius Bio.

"Polling in the second election (rerun) between the two candidates will be conducted nationwide on Tuesday, March 27," he said.

Mr. Conteh explained that after deliberation with political parties requesting for re-counts, the commission ordered recounts in 154 polling stations, adding that the recounted results were included in the final result.

"The results from 221 polling stations, including voters included on supplementary list, were excluded.

"Accordingly, pursuant to section 87(2) of the Public Elections Act, 2012, the results of those polling stations are declared null and void and are not included in this result," he stated.

Mr. Conteh gave the total voter turnout in the election as 2, 676, 549, 85 per cent of the 3.1million registered voters. Total invalid votes stood at 139, 427. (NAN)

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