Counting of votes underway in Sierra Leone presidential election run-off
Voters during the presidential run-off election earlier today in Sierra Leone’ (Reuters)
Free Town, March 31, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Counting of votes is underway in various polling units across Sierra Leone in the delayed presidential election run-off.
Voting ended few hours ago and in line with a consensus agreement reached two days ago between the electoral commission and the two contesting parties, APC and SLPP, votes are been counted at various polling stations to improve credibility
Voting appeared to be peaceful in today’s election, but turnout in the West African nation was lower than in the first round on March 7. Security was tight and many streets were quiet for the holiday weekend.
The winner of the runoff will be tasked with helping Sierra Leone continue to rebuild after the devastating 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic as well as a deadly mudslide in August that claimed some 1,000 lives in the capital, Freetown.
The opposition called the court challenge a delaying tactic and its candidate Julius Maada Bio, a former military leader, accused President Ernest Bai Koroma and the ruling party of “pushing us to the point of chaos in the country.”
Koroma has served two terms and is barred by the constitution from running again.
Bio, who is making his second bid for the presidency after losing in 2012, stands to pick up votes from the 14 candidates eliminated in the first round.
The election is the fourth since Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war ended in 2002, and the previous vote in 2012 was largely peaceful.
“We do not need any violence or confusion,” said one voter, Tenneh Kamara. “All we need is to improve things for our nation so that we will be proud as citizens of this, our country.”
With agency report