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Run-off more than likely in Sierra Leone polls

Run-off more than likely in Sierra Leone polls

It's looking more and more likely that Sierra Leone will go to a second round of polls, after 75 percent of the results have come in. 

Results as posted on Sunday, show that it is a very close contest between the two front-runners, former foreign minister Samura Kamara of the ruling All People's Congress and main opposition leader Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

According to the tally posted on Sunday, Bio had a slight lead of 43.3 percent to Kamara's 42.6 percent. Bio, a former junta leader, had a slender lead of around 15 000 votes, Reuters reports. 

Kandeh Yumkella, a former United Nations under-secretary, garnered around seven percent of the vote, while Samuel Sam-Sumana, one of the other main candidates, received 3.4 percent.  

There were 12 other minor candidates. 

Incumbent leader President Ernest Bai Koroma, stepped down after serving his second, five-year term - a term that has been punctuated by national tragedy.  

Whoever wins the election, will take over a country struggling to recover from war, an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in 2014 and devastating floods and mudslides that hit the capital last year, and saw more than 1 000 people killed and almost as many reported missing. 

In the lead up to Thursday's election, Kamara reportedly told a rally, attended by thousands in the northern city of Makeni, that he was Koroma's "biggest legacy" to the country. 

"I am his biggest legacy. I need to sustain what he has achieved... and build on it," he said. 

Kamara further promised that should he be elected to lead the nation, he would focus on infrastructure, agriculture and education. 

More than 3.1 million people were registered to vote in this year's polls. 

 

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