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Presidential Election Goes to Run Off

Abdul Hassan Fackie 
Freetown, Sierra Leone.

In a tightly contested Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in Sierra Leone, sixteen political parties took part, the Presidential candidates for the two largest and oldest parties, namely, Retired Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara of the All People's Congress (APC), who took the first and second positions, win go into a second round of voting on Wednesday, March 27, 2018, to get a clear winner as both men were unable to get the 55% of the votes cast in the first round to win. 

In the for round, Mr. Maada Bio received one million ninety seven thousand four hundred and eighty two (1,097,482) representing 43.2% while Dr. Samura Kamara bagged one million eighty two thousand seven hundred and forty eight votes representing 42.6% of the votes cast. 

The votes cast amounted to two million five hundred and thirty seven thousand one hundred and twenty two from a total of three million one hundred and seventy eight thousand six hundred and sixty three (3,178,663) registered voters. 

The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone stipulates that for someone to win the Presidency in the first round, he or she must get 55% of the valid votes cast, failing which the first and second place contenders should go into a run off two weeks after the announcement of the result. 

Since the announcement of the result on Tuesday, 13th. March, 2018 and the declaration on Wednesday March 27, 2018, as the day for the run off election between Mr. Maada Bio and Mr. Samura Kamara, the political tempo has risen with both parties hitting the campaign trail running against time to canvas the electorate to vote for them. 

In the run off, the candidate who polls the highest number of votes wins the race without any regard for how much percent he or she scores. 

Surveys have indicated that both candidates are very popular and the election may go either way. Both parties are now seriously engaged in negotiations with the other parties in order for them to throw their support behind them. 

Among the parties that are now been courted are the National Grand Coalition (NGC) headed by retired United Nations Civil Servant, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella in third place with one hundred and seventy four thousand and fourteen (174,014) votes, the Coalition for Change (C4C) headed by sacked Vice President in the current APC government, Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam.Sumana in fourth place with eighty seven thousand seven hundred and twenty (87,720) votes, the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) headed by Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray with twenty six thousand seven hundred and four (26,704) votes in fifth place, the Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP) headed by Mrs. Isata Jambai Ngobeh with twelve thousand eight hundred and twenty seven (12,827) votes in sixth position, Honourble Alhaji Musa Tarawally of the Citizens Democratic Party (CDP) with eleven thousand four hundred and ninety three (11,427) votes in seventh position, and Mr. Charles Francis Margai of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) with nine thousand eight hundred and sixty four (9,864) votes in eighth position. 

Observers say alliances are now been formed although no party has announced yet who they have formed alliances with. 

As the clock ticks towards March 27, Sierra Leoneans seem to be very exited and expectant of getting a new president and except for the tribal and regional sentiments that have been introduced and hyped into the campaigns, this election promises to be the most closely fought between the APC and SLPP since the reintroduction of multi party democracy in the country in 1995.

The last and final 100% of the march 7, 2018 as follow:
APC 1,082,748 42.7%
ADP 26,704 1.1%
CDP 11,493 0.5%
C4C 87,720 3.5%
NDA 8,344 0.3%
NGC 174,014 6.9%
NPD 4,239 0.2%
NURP 2,318 0.1%
PLP 4,233 0.2%
PMDC 9,864 0.4%
ReNIP 2,555 0.1%
RUFP 12,827 %0.5
SLPP 1,097,482 43.3%
UDM 5,695 0.2%
UNPP 3,061 0.1%
UP 3,825 0.2