Sierra Leone: Run-Off Presidential Election Set for March 27th

Sierra Leoneans will have a second chance to decide who leads them. A run off election is in the cards.

APC Samura Kamara

APC Samura Kamara

Although the candidate of Sierra Leone’s major opposition Sierra Leon’s People’s Party (SLPP) won the first round of the country’s Presidential vote, he did not break the 55% required threshold to win out right. This sets the stage for a 2 person runoff in two weeks between former military officer Julius Maada Bio of the SLPP and candidate of the ruling All Peoples (Congress (APC), former foreign minister Samura Kamara.

SLPP candidate Maado Bio carried the first round with 43.3% of the vote against the ruling party candidate Kamara at 42.7%.

SLPP Julius Maada Bio

SLPP Julius Maada Bio

An analysis of the first round of support for the two candidates shows a country divided between maintaining the status quo and the desire to rebuild the country and move out of poverty. The elections have been deemed  generally credible by international observers.

A statement from the country’s election body says, “…following counting and tallying, the number of invalid votes cast at the Presidential election on 7th March, 2018 was 139,427. The number of valid votes was 2,537,122…”

In announcing the date of the runoff elections set for March 27th, the country’s elections chairperson, said the two highest vote getters from the ruling APC and SLPP will contest for the office of President in balloting to be held nationwide in the West African nation.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine