The candidate of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has been declared the victor of the March 31 Sierra Leone Presidential run-off election.
"We are challenging the results and we will be taking the appropriate legal actions to get redress and have the result overturned. I am here because my president Julius Maada Bio has won the election in this country", said Adolfus Kargbo, among a group of SLPP supporters chanting Maada Bio's name. By all indications, the ruling APC party candidate, Dr. Samura Kamara has lost the run-off election. Since none of the candidates reach 55 percent, hence the presidential runoff. The general elections saw voting for presidential, legislative and councillors across the West African country.
Rich in diamonds, iron, bauxite and other minerals, the transfer of power to the opposition could help Sierra Leone attract new investment just months after devastating floods left 500 people dead around the capital.
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Opposition candidate and former military junta leader Maada Bio was declared the victor in the election late on Wednesday with 51.81% of votes and was sworn in hours later.
Security forces erected a cordon around Mr. Bio's SLPP party headquarters, where hundreds of supporters had already begun celebrating victory ahead of the expected official results. We also recognize the important role Sierra Leone's political parties and civil society organizations played in these elections, and we welcome the statements by global and domestic observer missions affirming the credibility of the election.
Mr. Kamara's term was also marred by a mudslide that struck Freetown past year, killing hundreds of people. Its economy remains fragile, with corruption widespread in the former British colony. More than 15 years later, political loyalties divided along ethnic lines continue to run deep among the country's 7 million inhabitants.