Sierra Leone opposition leader wins presidential election runoff

Julius Maada Bio wins 51.8 percent of the votes while Samura Kamara of the ruling party secured 48 percent of votes.

    Sierra Leone opposition leader wins presidential election runoff
    Bio of Sierra Leone Peoples' Party (SLPP) pledged to govern for all Sierra Leoneans at the ceremony [File: Olivia Acland/Reuters]

    Sierra Leone's opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio has won the country's presidential election re-run, the electoral commission said on Thursday.

    Bio, a former military ruler, won 51.81 percent of the votes cast in last month's election while Samura Kamara of the incumbent party took 48.19 percent of the votes. Voter turnout stood at 81 percent with 3.1 million people registered to vote.

    This was Bio's second bid for the presidency. He lost the 2012 election to outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma.

    Chief Justice Abdulai Charm swore in the new leader along with Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh just hours after the announcement. Bio of Sierra Leone Peoples' Party (SLPP) pledged to govern for all Sierra Leoneans at the ceremony.

    Julius Maada Bio pledged to govern for all Sierra Leoneans at his swearing ceremony [Olivia Acland/Reuters]
    Kamara, who's All Peoples' Congress (APC) have been in power for a decade, vowed to contest the result.

    In a televised address, Kamara said: "We dispute the results and we will take legal action to correct them", adding that the results "do not reflect the party's many concerns about massive ballot box stuffing, supernumerary votes, and other irregularities".

    Kamara has seven days to petition the west African country's Supreme Court against the results. 

    The election is the fourth since Sierra Leone's brutal civil war ended in 2002.

    President Ernest Bai Koroma has served two terms and was barred by the constitution from running again.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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