Sierra Leone's president wins second term without need for runoff, election commission announces

Sierra Leone's election commission says President Julius Maada Bio has won a second term in office

Kemo Cham
Tuesday 27 June 2023 18:04 BST
Sierra Leone Presidential Elections
Sierra Leone Presidential Elections (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio has won a second term in office, receiving 56.17% of ballots cast and narrowly clearing the threshold for avoiding a runoff in the West African nation, electoral officials said Tuesday.

Main opposition candidate Samura Kamara received 41.16% of the vote, according to official results from Saturday's election.

The announcement comes after supporters of both parties had claimed to have won in recent days, with Kamara saying that he was on an “irreversible path to an overwhelming victory.” He also alleged that security forces had opened fire Sunday on a celebration at his party's headquarters, though police denied having fired live bullets.

Bio has faced increasing criticism because of debilitating economic conditions that Kamara pledged to improve. Nearly 60% of Sierra Leone’s population of more than 7 million are facing poverty, with youth unemployment being one of the highest in West Africa.

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