November 24, 2012

Incumbent Koroma Wins Sierra Leone Poll

Incumbent Ernest Bai Koroma has been declared winner of the Sierra Leone election

Ernest Bai Koroma has won the presidential election in Sierra Leone, the election commission has said.

Sierra Leone’s incumbent President received almost 59% of votes cast, implying there is no need for a run-off as he won more than 55%.

Ex-military ruler Julius Maada Bio who was his main challenger, took 38% of the ballots in Saturday’s peaceful poll.

The election was the third since the 1991-2002 civil war, which claimed more than 50,000 lives.

International observers have praised the election to be peaceful and transparent.

The average national turnout was 87.3%, the election commission said.

Mr Koroma, who faced eight candidates, took 1,314,881 votes – 58.7% of the total.

After the results were announced, supporters of President Koroma took to the streets of Freetown to celebrate his win.

It will be his second and final term in office.

His supporters flooded the streets of the capital as news of his comfortable win became known – they danced, sang and banged pots and pans. Parliamentary and local council election results are yet to be declared.

Saturday’s vote was the first post-war election Sierra Leone had organised itself with the other two held since the war ended in 2001 run by the United Nations.

Although many people around the world might still associate Sierra Leone with the Hollywood movie Blood Diamond – a place of war and atrocities – that image today could not be further from the truth.

Even if it remains one of the poorest nations in Africa with a large proportion of the population of about six million living on less than $1.25 (80p) a day , Sierra Leone is now a peaceful, democratic nation with a growing economy..

The army – once an undisciplined force containing a large number of rebels – has been rebuilt with considerable military aid from the UK and now sends peacekeeping soldiers to serve in UN missions around the world.

 

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