Friday, August 24, 2007

Ruling Party Lags in Provisional Results

Voting figures published by Sierra Leone's electoral commission put Charles Margai, the third-placed candidate in the presidential election, in a strong position to determine the outcome.

With 97 percent of polling stations reporting, provisional results announced by National Electoral Commission chair Christiana Thorpe on Tuesday show that the principal opposition candidate, Ernest Koroma has 44 percent of the vote and the ruling party's Solomon Berewa 38 percent.

Since a candidate needs 55 percent to win the election, the stance which Margai and his People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) now adopt would appear to be crucial. Margai drew 14 percent of the vote.

Margai is reported to have met  at least once with Koroma since the election. However, it has also been reported  that PMDC supporters have appealed to Berewa to combine forces with the PMDC to deny Koroma victory. The PMDC comprises a group that broke away from the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP).

Whatever the outcome of the presidential election, Koroma's All People's Congress (APC) appears in a powerful position in Parliament. The preliminary total of seats published on Tuesday shows that the APC has 35 seats, the SLPP 20 and the PMDC only eight. No other party has a seat, giving the APC a clear majority so far.

allAfrica.com: Sierra Leone: Ruling Party Lags in Provisional Results (Page 1 of 1)