Vote Counting After Sierra Leone’s Crucial Presidential Race

Counting of ballots began after official close of voting at 5pm (GMT) in Sierra Leone’s rescheduled presidential run-off vote on Saturday 31st March.

Prof Amos Sawyer, Head of ECOWAS Observation Mission and his team watched the counting process at Freetown’s Aberdeen polling Centre, where they had witnessed the commencement of voting at 7am.

Agents of the two rival political parties and security personnel also witnessed the process.

Counting and tallying in the 16 Administrative Districts with 3,300 polling centres and 11,122 polling stations nationwide, will be followed with tallying at the Regional Centres and then moved to the National Office for the announcement of the final results.

The ruling APC has Dr Samura Kamara as its candidate, running against the main opposition SLPP’s rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio in this second election. Both emerged front runners from the inconclusive March 7 first round that had 16 candidates.

The run-off was originally scheduled for March 27, but had to be postponed due to a petition filed by a private lawyer, which resulted in an interim injunction by a High Court. The vacation of the Court order and the preventive diplomacy initiate by heads of international observation missions helped to douse the political tension and paved the way for Saturday’s run-off, which was generally peaceful.

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