Sierra Leone Election - A coalition of local and international civil society organization that has been observing the Sierra Leone elections has projected an election run-off, saying none of the candidates will secure the 55% constitutional threshold required to be declared an outright winner.
National Elections Watch (NEW) says it deployed over 10,000 election observers at every polling station in Sierra Leone and assigned 3 observers at the regional tallying centers.
Acknowledging the fact that only the National Electoral Commission in Sierra Leone can declare official results, NEW says it used Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) tool, which provides accurate and timely information on the conduct of an election and counting at polling stations.
NEW says PVT is a standard tool for election observation and is able to provide estimates of official results.
‘‘NEW wishes to assure the public that it has empirical evidence to support this projection,’‘ NEW asserted in their statement.
Peaceful Election Unfolds in Sierra Leone
Lining up hours before dawn, citizens of Sierra Leone went to the polls Wednesday to choose a new president, parliament, and local councilors in one of the most hotly contested elections in the West African nation's history.
The current president, Ernest Bai Koroma, of the All People's Congress party must step down after serving two terms.
Front runners in the presidential race include former-foreign minister Samura Kamara for APC, former-general Juluis Maada Bio of the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party, and former U.N. official Kandeh Yumkella of the newly formed National Grand Coalition party.
But there are 16 total candidates, including women, vying for the top job, so analysts say the results, expected this weekend, will likely necessitate a run-off. To win in the first round, a candidate must earn 55 percent of votes.
APC is running on its record of building roads and connecting electricity over the past 10 years in office, which motivated 50-year-old father Samir Dorsett Macfoy to arrive before dawn at a polling station in western Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, to make sure he was first in line to cast his vote.