Opposition Leader Julius Maada Bio sworn in as Sierra Leone's President

Howard TerryApr 06, 2018

But hopes for a smooth transition were soon thrown into doubt after Mr. Kamara said he was rejecting the National Election Commission's results.

The comments from the former foreign affairs minister and ruling All People's Congress (APC) candidate follow a tense but mostly peaceful campaign to replace outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma, who could not seek re-election due to term limits. But with results from Kailahun district yet to be declared, Dr. Samura Kamara has no chance of winning the run-off election.

Bio took the oath of office just before midnight Wednesday, soon after the electoral commission named him the victor of last Saturday's poll.

"Today is a new dawn".

Bio, a former soldier who briefly led a military junta in 1996, is set to be sworn in as Sierra Leone's new president shortly following the announcement. We have only one country, Sierra Leone, and we are all one people.

The run-off election became necessary since none of the candidates was able to get 51 per cent of the total votes cast, as provided by the country's constitution. The run-off came after no candidate secured the required 55% of votes in the first round of voting on March 7.

Mohamed Conteh, chairman of NEC, said the national turn out in the election was 2,578,271 representing 81.11 registered voters, while 31,694 invalid votes were recorded.

On the streets of Freetown, Bio supporters celebrated his victory and what they say he means for the country.

As former President Ernest Bai Koroma's second term approached its end, his supporters launched a campaign to void term limits and allow him to seek re-election, before backing off under domestic and global pressure.

According to Reuters, Bio "now faces the hard task of rebuilding the impoverished West African nation's economy that was dragged down by the world's deadliest Ebola epidemic and a global slump in commodity prices".

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