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Africa
Koroma elected S Leone president
Election was Sierra Leone's first vote since UN peacekeepers withdrew two years ago.
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2007 02:18 GMT
Koroma has won 54.6 per cent of the vote [AFP]
Ernest Bai Koroma, Sierra Leone's opposition leader, has won the West African country's presidential election.
 
Koroma, the candidate of the opposition All People's Congress (APC), won 54.6 per cent of the votes from the September 8 run-off poll, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) said on Monday.
His rival, vice-president Solomon Berewa of the ruling Sierra Leone People's party (SLPP), obtained 45.4 per cent.
 
Supporters of Koroma ran through the streets of the capital cheering after they heard the news.

"Ernest Bai Koroma has been duly elected president of the Republic of Sierra Leone," NEC chairperson Christiana Thorpe told a news conference in Freetown.   

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Close fight in Sierra Leone vote

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Frustration at the polls

Freetown's song and dance

Q&A: Sierra Leone's elections
The NEC declared Koroma the winner despite an announcement by the SLPP at the weekend that it would seek a court injunction to prevent any more results from the tense presidential run-off being released because it said those declared so far were not credible.

 

The election was seen as a test of the former British colony's recovery from a 1991-2002 civil war, one of modern Africa's most brutal in which 50,000 people were killed and children were kidnapped, drugged and forced to fight.

   

The polls were the first since United Nations peacekeepers left two years ago.

 

Though rich in diamonds, Sierra Leone has a citizenry that is poor and unemployed, and corruption is rampant.

 

President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah was barred by law from running for a third five-year term.

 

Koroma, 54, led the first round of voting on August 11, winning 44 per cent of the vote, compared with 38 per cent for Berewa, 69.

 

However, that margin was not large enough to win outright.

Source:
Agencies
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