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Sierra Leone presidential run-off:Vote counting commences

Mohammed Conteh, Sierra Leone Chief Electoral Officer

By Emmanuel Oloniruha

Ballot counting began after official close of voting at 5 pm (GMT) in the Saturday Sierra Leone’s rescheduled presidential run-off vote.
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 rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio 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, which resulted in an interim injunction by a High Court.
The vacation of the court order and the preventive diplomacy initiated 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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