Voters in Sierra Leone take a second bite at the electoral cherry as they line-up today to pick the country’s next president – i.e. a successor to outgoing Ernest Bai Koroma.
Today’s vote is a direct fight between a former military head of state, Julius Maada Bio and a former foreign affairs minister Samura Kamara. Maada Bio who leads the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) won the first round vote held on March 7.
Samura Kamara running on the ticket of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) will be looking to overturn Maada Bio’s first round victory. Incidentally two candidates who came third and fourth refused to back the two frontrunners.
The runoff originally slated for March 27 was pushed to today after a failed legal challenge halted preparations by the National Electoral Commission (NEC). NEC subsequently got a court order to push the date to March 31.
— National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (@NECsalone) March 30, 2018
The runoff is the last leg of the March 7 general elections which has so far produced lawmakers, the APC won a majority of the seats according to the NEC.
Kamara and Maada Bio – each buoyant about their chances have – pleaded with their supporters to remain calm ahead of today’s vote. NEC says it is ready to deliver credible polls.
“Any government will come, the basic challenges (are) education, youth employment, medical, then they are looking into the affairs of the feeding (then there is food security) of this nation, the food affairs,” a potential voter said.
Another added, “It doesn’t matter who wins this election as a citizen of this country we want to see a very good government regardless of the APC or the SLPP of the NGC. We want to see our people, people like the Sierra Leoneans move forward in life in terms of education.”