After a peaceful day of voting in the presidential, parliamentary and local elections on Saturday, locals crowded around crackling radios releasing unofficial results from individual polling stations. Sporadic cheering erupted in communities across the capital Freetown, a traditional stronghold of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC), as results trickled in. Polling officials counted votes throughout the night, mostly by lantern light, under the watch of observers, party officials, police and soldiers.
By Sunday morning most had finished and passers-by examined results posted outside polling booths. Decisive results are not expected until next week, and the National Electoral Commission will announce the final outcome on Saturday.
The poll is seen as a tight race between incumbent Ernest Koroma, who has overseen a construction boom, and ex-military leader Julius Maada Bio, who has amassed support among many still struggling to survive in what is still one of the world’s poorest nations.
Koroma is regarded as the favourite, but it is unclear whether he will reach the 55 percent of votes needed to avoid a run-off.
While no major incidents have marred the election process, it will be most fragile when results are released. Both candidates have said they are confident of victory and Bio has warned he will not accept a “dirty election”.
Full Article: Sierra Leone braces for election results – Times LIVE.