After a busy election day, the time has come to count the ballot papers in Sierra Leone. More than 3.4 million voters were called upon to elect their parliament, local councils and above all their future president.
The electoral commission said on Twitter that voting was “peaceful” but was marked by “logistical problems” due to the “late” arrival of electoral materials in areas where voting was extended.
There are 13 candidates in the presidential race, including the outgoing head of state Julius Maada Bio, who is seeking a second term in office despite fierce criticism of his economic record.
The 59-year-old retired military officer’s main opponent is Samura Kamara, a 72-year-old former minister. In 2018, Julius Maada Bio defeated him in the second round.
Among the concerns of voters is the high cost of living. Inflation and exasperation with the government led to riots in August 2022, in which 27 civilians and six police officers were killed.
To be elected in the first round, one of the candidates must win 55% of the votes.
The first results should be known in the next few hours.