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With 75% or 1.95 million of the processed votes from Sierra Leone's March 7 general elections released on Sunday by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the presidential candidate of the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio now leads with 43.33% of the votes.
He is followed by Dr Samura Kamara of the ruling All People's Congress (APC) with 42.57%; while Kandeh Yumkellah of the National Grand Alliance (NGC) is third with 6.95%.
The two women presidential candidates scored less than 1% each.
Some 3.17 million voters were registered for the polls in the country with an estimated seven million population and 16 Administrative Districts. The electoral Commission said voter turn-out was “large” adding that the exact figures would be given when tabulation is completed.
NEC chair Mohamed N'fah Alie-Conteh told a Press Conference on Sunday that the remaining results would be announced as soon as possible, explaining that under the electoral law NEC has up to one week to release results of the polls.
If none of the 16 candidates contesting the presidency gains 55% of the votes cast in the first round, the two frontrunners will go for the run-off balloting two weeks after the declaration of the first round results.
The winner will replace outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma of APC, who has completed the mandatory two-terms of five years each.
Some 789 candidates also contested for 132 seats in the 144-member parliament.