The election commission said Tuesday, after the country’s main opposition finished slightly ahead of the ruling party in the first round of voting. Opposition leader Julius Maada Bio, from the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), took 43.3 per cent of votes in the March 7 election, while Samura Kamara of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC) took 42.7 per cent, the commission said. Turnout appeared to be around 85 per cent of Sierra Leone’s 3.1 million voters.
The threshold to win in the first round was 55 per cent, and the final results released Tuesday were slightly delayed by recounts in some areas.
The two parties dominate Sierra Leone’s politics and have ruled alternately since independence from Britain in 1961.