See also:
» 03.09.2009 - Sierra Leone players must step up efforts, Ban
» 06.05.2008 - UN boasts S. Leone progress
» 13.02.2008 - Sierra Leone fires poll officers
» 19.12.2007 - Sierra Leone set for local gov't polls
» 15.11.2007 - Sierra Leone leader renews graft battle
» 02.11.2007 - Amnesty seeks justice for Sierra Leone's conflict survivors
» 17.09.2007 - Historic opposition takeover in Sierra Leone
» 04.09.2007 - Sierra Leoneans march for peace

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Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone polls declared credible

afrol News, 13 August - Election observers have declared the weekend presidential and legislative polls in Sierra Leone as free, fair and credible.

The polls were the second after the diamond-rich country had gone through a decade long civil war that claimed many lives as well as left behind thousands of people without legs and arms.

Voter turn out is estimated at 55%, a clear sign of Sierra Leonean’s commitment to peace and democracy.

Marie-Anne Isler Beguin, the EU Chief Election Observer, said the EU was satisfied with the global participation and organisation of the polls.

The Chairperson of Sierra Leone’s electoral commission, Christiana Thorpe, was also satisfied with the whole voting process. She asked Sierra Leoneans to maintain patience and tolerance as they await the counting and annoncement of the results. The final results are expected to be declared after 12 days.

President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, who came to power in 1996, is stepping down. Seven candidates - including the Vice President Solomon Berewa, the candidate of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party - have been vying to become president.

Political pundits predict a second round of voting because it would be difficult for a single candidate to poll 55% of the votes during the first round.

Keen competition is reported between Mr Berewa and Ernest Bai Koroma, the candidate of the opposition All People’s Congress. As voting is underway, the two are said to be neck-to-neck, with the APC maintaining lead in its traditional stronghold in the north and the west districts while the SLPP recording victory in the south-east regions, which include the capital Freetown.

In the other polls, 572 contenders have contested for 112 parliamentary seats.

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