Run of vote increasingly likely in Sierra Leone

Chances of a run-off vote in the Sierra Leonean presidential election continue to increase as results keep trickling in.

The final result of the 7 March election is expected to be declared later on Monday.

Over 75 percent of the ballots have been counted, which indicate that Julius Maada Bio of the main opposition Sierra Leone People Party is in the lead with over 43.3 percent of the vote.

Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress is at a close second, having so far garnered nearly 42.6 percent of the vote.

The other two main candidates – Kandeh Yumkella, a former United Nations Under-Secretary, and Samuel Sam-Sumana – are on 7 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

There are 12 other minor candidates.

A candidate needs 55 percent-plus to obtain an outright win in the first round.

There’s some cause for concern, however, with reports of sporadic clashes across the country during the vote counting process.

The winner of the vote will replace President Ernest Bai Koroma, who has ruled the West African nation since 2007.