Elections in Sierra Leone: the two main candidates largely in the lead (first partial results)

Candidates for the presidential election of the two main parties in Sierra Leone each won more than 40% of the vote, confirming the high probability of a second round, according to preliminary partial results released Saturday by the Electoral Commission.

The inhabitants of this poor West African country plagued by corruption moved in numbers Wednesday to elect their new president and vice-president, members of parliament and local councilors.

If none of the 16 presidential candidates gets 55% of the vote, a second round must be held two weeks after the announcement of the results of the first, an assumption all the more likely that the outgoing, Ernest Bai Koroma, could not represent after two five-year terms.

His party, the APC, represented by his foreign minister Samura Kamara, was leading the race, followed closely by that of the main opposition party, the SLPP, the former general Julius Maada Bio, according to preliminary results. published by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), covering 25% of polling stations in each province.

Of the 653,981 votes, Kamara gets 44.6% and Bio 42%, according to a statement from the NEC, recalling that “these results are partial” and that others will be published in increments of 25%, up to to complete results.

A former SLPP executive, Kandeh Yumkella, who is speaking on behalf of a new formation, the Grand National Coalition (NGC), is credited with 6.6% of the vote in this sample.

In the event of a second round, he could play the role of arbitrator between the two parties that have succeeded each other since independence in 1961.

The balance sheet of the outgoing administration is mixed.
If it managed to attract investors to rebuild the country devastated by the civil war (1991-2002) that left 120,000 dead, the economy remains in a worrying state after the shocks of the Ebola epidemic in 2014- 2016, the fall in world commodity prices and corruption continued to flourish.

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