#SierraLeoneDecides: Ruling APC leading as 25% of the results are announced

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The Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) has announced 25% of the results just 3 days after the crucial poll on Wednesday.

The ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) party’s candidate Dr Samura Kamara leads with 44.64% while the main opposition challenger Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) follows closely with 41.94%, while Dr Kandeh Yumkella of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) has 6.59%.

The rest of the candidates share the remainder.

This election has been considered the most competitive because it is the first time since multiparty democracy was introduced in 1996 for more than two candidates to have real chances of winning and for the country to have a more diversified parliament.

The APC has garnered 291,993 votes while the SLPP follows closely with 274,352 votes. The NGC is in the third place with 43,117 votes.

The election has been described as transparent, credible and well-organised by various observer missions including the European Union (EU) as well as the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG).

According to the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) in Sierra Leone, the country managed to carry out transparent polls despite the numerous challenges.

“These elections, the fourth since the end of the civil war, marked another milestone in the consolidation of democracy in Sierra Leone. They were conducted transparently and impartially by the National Electoral Commission (NEC). Voters were able to exercise their democratic rights peacefully. However, intimidation and instances of violence marred the elections,” Jean Lambert, the chief observer of the mission said.

Politics in the West African nation have been dominated by the APC and SLPP since independence in 1961, but third parties are hoping to make their mark after mounting charismatic campaigns based on the two parties’ shortcomings.

The National Grand Coalition (NGC), whose message of reform has struck a chord with educated urban voters, elsewhere said it had identified “a number of serious irregularities in the voting process which will in some areas require immediate recounts”.

It would complain to the NEC, it added.

More results are expected to be announced on Monday.