Sierra Leone’s elections body, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) says it is set to undertake a further recount of votes at 72 polling stations and that it hopes to declare final results soon.
In a statement released late Monday, NEC stressed that no votes had been canceled so far. The number of stations to be recounted overall comes up to 154 out of 11,122 stations across the country.
“The NEC will recount ballot papers cast in a further 72 polling stations, in addition to the 82 polling stations identified for a recount and reported to the public yesterday (Sunday, March 11, 2018,” the statement noted.
Barring the recount figures, the country is still waiting for 25% of votes cast in the presidential race. As at March 11 when the NEC released 75% of official figures, the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was leading the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC).
With 75% of official results declared, here are the top four:
Main opposition SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio – 848,438 (43.3%)
Ruling APC candidate, Samura Kamara – 833,519 (42.6%)
Kandeh Yumkella (NGC) – 136,009 (6.9%)
Samuel Sam-Sumana (C4C) – 67,132 (3.4%)
This is the first time that the opposition SLPP has taken the lead since official results were first released by the electoral commission.
The electoral commission chair Mohamed Conteh reassured Sierra Leoneans that everything is being done to safeguard the choice they made on March 7. He also mentioned that vote recounts and investigations against some electoral officials are underway in some districts.
A run-off presidential election between the first and second placed candidates is held two weeks after the certification of the results, unless a candidate wins 55% in the first round.
The parliamentary and council elections are decided in a single round, first past the post system. A total of 132 MPs are elected from a choice of 752 candidates fielded by 17 parties (as well as 40 independents).
Additionally, there are 2,741 candidates for a total of 511 elected local positions as councillors, council chairpersons and mayors.