Counting of votes begins in Sierra Leone

Counting of votes begins in Sierra Leone

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Ballot counting has begun in Sierra Leone after official close of voting at 5 pm (GMT) in the rescheduled presidential run-off election.

A statement issued by a member of the ECOWAS Observation Mission, Mr Paul Ejime, said that Prof Amos Sawyer, Head of the Mission and his team watched the counting process at Freetown’s Aberdeen polling Centre.

Sawyer according to the statement had, earlier witnessed the commencement of voting at 7 am.

It noted that 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.

“This 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 Julius Maada Bio, a former head of state, 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. A lower court gave an interim injunction halting the poll.

The vacation of the court order by the Supreme Court 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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