Sunday, August 19, 2007

Elections Headed for Second Round

With votes from nearly two-thirds of polling stations counted, Sierra Leone's presidential elections appear headed for a second round run-off.

A running tally of results published by the country's National Electoral Commission on Friday afternoon shows that Ernest Bai Koroma of the  opposition All People's Congress (APC) is holding on to his lead, with 45 percent of the votes counted so far.

But the pre-election favourite, Vice-President Solomon Berewa of the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party's (SLPP), continues to have enough votes to deny Koroma the 55 percent he needs to avoid a second round. Berewa has received 36.8 percent of the vote.

The breakaway from the SLPP of the third major party, the People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), appears to have weakened the support the SLPP previously enjoyed. The PMDC's Charles Margai has received 14.8 percent of votes counted.

Freetown's Concord Times newspaper is reporting that PMDC supporters have appealed to Berewa to combine forces ahead of a second round to deny the opposition victory and return power to the SLPP and PMDC.

The latest results were published by the electoral commission on its website. With votes counted from 61.6 percent of polling stations, Koroma had 516,442 votes, Berewa 421,812 and Margai 169,408. A total of 1,146,697 votes had been counted, representing a turnout of 75.7 percent

of voters.

allAfrica.com: Sierra Leone: Elections Headed for Second Round? (Page 1 of 1)