The National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone on Saturday released part of the result of the presidential election held in the country on Wednesday, showing the two major candidates, Samura Kamara and Maada Bio running neck and neck in a tight race for the winner.
Chairman of NEC, Mr. Mohammed Conteh, declared the â€œprogressiveâ€ result at the commissionâ€™s headquarters in Freetown. Conteh said result representing 50 per cent of the polling stations in each of the five districts in the country had been cleared by NEC Tally Centre Information Technology Systems.
According to him, Kamara, candidate of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), has so far polled 566, 113 votes and is followed by his key rival and candidate of Sierra Leone People Party (SLPP), Maada Bio, who has 564, 687 votes.
Similarly, he announced that National Grand Coalition (NGC)â€™s candidate, Kolle Yemkulla, got 87,722 votes while Samuel Sam-Sumana of Coalition for Change (C4C) polled 44, 685 voters.
Other candidates were Kamaraimba Mansaray of Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) who secured 13, 507 votes; Musa Tarawally of Citizensâ€™ Democratic Party (CDP) with 5,682 votes and Chernoh Bah of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), 4, 144 votes.
The chairman also announced that John Oâ€™Dwyer of National Progressives Democrats (NPD) scored 2,063 votes; Patrick Sandy, National Unity and Reconciliation Party (NURP), 1,132 votes and Baba Conteh of Peace and Liberation Party (PLP), 2, 100.
According to him, Francis Margai, Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), got 5, 216 votes while Victor Williams of Republic National Independent Party (RNIP) polled 1,252 votes.
Other results announced were 6,036 votes secured by Jemba Ngobeh of Revolution United Front Party (RUFP); Mohamed Sowa-Turay, United Democratic Movement, 2, 923; Henry Kabuta, United National Peoplesâ€™ Party (UNPP), 1,468 votes. Olufemi Claudius-Cole of Unity Party (UP), he said, got 1,643 votes.
Conteh assured that NEC, as the only authority responsible to announce election results, was committed to producing accurate results that reflected the will of Sierra Leoneans as expressed on the ballots.
He disclosed that the tally figures would again be released when result from 75 per cent polling stations in all districts had been cleared. In the 25 per cent results earlier released by the commission, APCâ€™s Kamara polled 291,933 votes and Bio of SLPP had 274, 352 votes.
By the countryâ€™s electoral laws, results of the elections would to be announced in percentages starting from 25 per cent, 50 per cent and 75 per cent before the final results which would produce the winner of the contest.
A presidential candidate must receive 55 per cent of the total valid votes cast to win the election. If no candidate reaches 55 per cent, the two candidates with the most votes will participate in a run-off or second round of the election.
Answering questions, Conteh said he was not under any pressure and that nobody could pressure him to do something wrong. He said the commission, for now, was giving more attention to the presidential election results.
In the elections, votes were cast for parliamentary and local county seats, results of which were still awaited.